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100 Years of the County of Los Angeles Public Library

In September 2012, the County of Los Angeles celebrated our 100th birthday.
Check out facts about the library along with historic photos.

1912 - 1929  |  1930-1949  |  1950-1969  |  1970-1989  |  1990-2012  |  1912-2012: All Facts

  • 1973 - Carol Moss appointed County Librarian (1973-1981).
  • 1973 - The new North Enterprise Library is named in honor of Mrs. A C Bilbrew, who, according to Kenneth Hahn's motion, was the "first Negro woman to sing on radio in Los Angeles, pioneering the opportunity for young people to get into music, stage, radio and television."
  • 1976-79 - Four Resource Centers were opened during this time: The Chicano Resource Center located at the East Los Angeles Library (1976), the Black Resource Center located at the A C Bilbrew Library (1978), the American Indian Resource Center located at the Huntington Park Library (1979), and the Asian Pacific Resource Center located at the Montebello Library (1979).

  • 1979 - Community Access Library Line (CALL) was established. This telephone reference and referral service of the Los Angeles County Public Library served the Southern California area (10 counties from San Luis Obispo County south to the Mexican border) from 1979-1993.

  • 1981 - Linda Crismond appointed County Librarian (1981-1989).
  • 1982 - Book stock reached five million volumes.

  • 1982 - Books-by-Mail, a mail-order service which offered books to residents unable to travel to the library, was established.

  • 1982 - Language Learning Centers established to provide independent study programs to help adults to improve their reading and language skills. In 1984 Federal Library Services and Construction Act allowed the Library to expand the number of Language Learning Centers from 6 to 17.

  • 1983 - County Library Headquarters moved to Downey which combined five separate administration locations into one new administrative building.
  • 1983 - The Los Angeles County Public Library Foundation was established. A benefit performance of "Zorba," starring Mr. Anthony Quinn, launched the fund raising effort.
  • 1984 - Point Dume Library opened in Malibu as the 92nd library on April 12, 1984.
  • 1984 - The Los Angeles County Public Library participated in the spirit of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and joined four adjacent library cooperative systems to plan a Children's Summer Reading Program.

  • 1985 - Actor and sculptor Anthony Quinn made a substantial gift of his memorabilia, books, and paintings to the County Librarian.
  • 1987 - To enhance service to customers, the Library replaced the microfilm catalogs with compact disc (CD-ROM) equipment providing more reliable and easier to access information about the library's materials.

  • 1987 - 75th Anniversary: County Library's Diamond Jubilee. ABC Television's "Good Morning America" captured the event with a rousing staff cheer.
  • 1987 - Reflecting the public's shift to technology, the Library transitioned its collection from 16mm film to videocassettes, and phonograph records to compact discs and audio cassettes.
  • 1987 - After 75 years of manual service, the Library installed a computer-based system for checking out library materials and statistical recordkeeping. Brakensiek Library was the test library for the Automated Circulation System and began registration for new library cards, known as "KeyCards."
  • 1989 - Sandra Reuben appointed County Librarian (1989-2001).
  • 1989 - The Library's name changed from Los Angeles County Public Library to County of Los Angeles Public Library.

1912 - 1929  |  1930-1949  |  1950-1969  |  1970-1989  |  1990-2012  |  1912-2012: All Facts