One year ago, on September 13, 2018, the Los Angeles Public Library celebrated Central@25. This event commemorated the 25th anniversary of the reopening of Central Library. The day of appreciation, celebration and honors was the idea of Christina Rice, Senior Librarian, LAPL Photo Collection. Preliminary planning began approximately six months before the event. There were many staff suggestions to make the day grand and wonderful, but Ms. Rice suggested a book. At the time, I thought it was an impossible dream that a book of any value could be written in such a short time. However, the book did became a reality, and is comprised of essays by present and past staff; one LAPL docent; and the founding president of the Los Angeles Conservancy. There are essays that are remembrances by staff who worked in the building prior to and after the fire, plus essays by other staff which include what it was like on the day of the fire; relocation of the staff after the fire; planning for a new building; historical overviews of Central Library; and opening day, 1993. Several essays are based on extensive research, which brought the realization that there is so much more to be written about Central Library and the entire LAPL system. For researchers these essays should merely whet their curiosity. The essays, photographs and images are historically correct. Many of the photographs and images are from LAPL's Photo Collection; for other images and photographs there are attributions.
On September 13, 2018, there were simultaneous events at Central Library, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. It was impossible for anyone to attend all the events, which took place throughout the building. Because Christina Rice proposed and organized a day of remembrance and celebration, this book exists.
On Saturday, September 26, 2019, The Bruckman Rare Book Friends Award for 2019 was presented to Amy Inouye for her design and publication of the book by Photo Friends; for creating the Central@25 logo; and for Ms. Inouye's significant contributions to the design of books and cultural sites and events in Los Angeles. Christina Rice was awarded the Bruckman Rare Book Friends Angel Award for her inspiration and motivation in proposing the celebration; her leadership in organizing and overseeing this major event; and for inspiring numerous LAPL staff to take part in a day that brought out thousands of people, who celebrated a building and a major public library that is a treasured local and national resource.