Peggy Murphy and Catherine Royalty at the Los Angeles Public Library.
The Los Angeles Public Library traces its origin to 1844, when it was started from donated books from citizens when Los Angeles was a town of only about 1,500 people. Librarians like Mary Emily Foy, who set up the Dewey Decimal card-catalog system in the library, and Tessa Kels, who “fought to keep racy French novels on the shelves,” forged the way from the late 1800s through the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1921, the city of Los Angeles passed a bond issue that funded the permanent home for the library, which was designed by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue.
Today, the Los Angeles Public Library has six million volumes and is one of the largest publicly funded libraries in the world. Two arson fires in 1986 destroyed twenty percent of the library’s holdings and the music reading room. The city subsequently rallied around repairs and renovations to the library and it was reopened to the public in 1993. The library boasts a number of special collections that are so much fun to browse, including historic photographs, fruit crate labels, book plates, maps, travel posters, movie posters, and sheet music. I got to visit librarians Peggy Murphy …read more

Via: Melville House Books