Bookworms Rejoice: LA Libraries Are Reopening!

Can't wait to curl up and read at the Beverly Hills Library. Photo by Meghan Rose
Can't wait to curl up and read at the Beverly Hills Library. Photo by Meghan Rose

One of the things my family has missed most this past year has been visiting our favorite local library. It’s where kids can play when it’s too hot to go outside. It’s where the whole family can enjoy a free storytime that was guaranteed to be age-appropriate (turns out, librarians know books!). It’s where parents can pick up a steady supply of new books. Books to read at bedtime, books to read together, books for kids to read to themselves, and books parents could curl up with after a long day.

Sure, LA’s libraries compensated with curbside pickup, virtual events, and even dial-a-story offerings, but it just wasn't the same. Finally, many LA public libraries are ready to open their doors. So check out when you and your kids can book it to the library...

When Are LA Libraries Opening?

Beginning this week (starting April 19), just over a third of the LA County libraries are opening, or 30 of the 85 locations. These libraries are currently scheduled to open at 50% capacity.

It will be a phased reopening, and libraries are opening depending on location, building availability, and the ability to accommodate physical distance guidelines and protocols. The library system is emphasizing reopening libraries in underserved areas where residents rely on in-person services the most.

So … Which LA Libraries Are Opening?

The first library branches to open are: 

  • Angelo M Iacoboni
  • Avalon
  • Claremont Helen Renwick
  • Clifton M. Brakensiek
  • Compton
  • Culver City Julian Dixon 
  • Diamond Bar
  • Duarte
  • East Los Angeles
  • El Monte
  • Graham
  • Huntington Park
  • La Crescenta
  • Lancaster

West Hollywood Library has one of the best Children's Libraries in town.

The West Hollywood Library is part of the first wave of re-openings. Photo by Joshua Barash

  • Lawndale
  • Leland R. Weaver
  • Lennox
  • Malibu
  • Manhattan Beach
  • Montebello
  • Quartz Hill
  • Rosemead
  • Rowland Heights
  • San Fernando
  • South Whittier
  • Stevenson Ranch
  • View Park Bebe Moore Campbell
  • West Covina
  • West Hollywood
  • Woodcrest

Rancho Cucamonga Library is now open with appointment.

The Rancho Cucamonga Library is open with an appointment. Photo courtesy of Family Place Libraries

What about Other SoCal Cities?

It’s hard to track every library in every city in the Southland, so we decided to check in on the libraries that made our list of favorite libraries for kids.

The Pasadena Central Library already opened with limited service on Thursday, April 15. The Pasadena Hastings and  La Pintoresca Branch Libraries will reopen with limited services on April 20.

The Central Library at Newport Beach is currently open with limited services.

Rancho Cucamonga Library is open for limited in-person browsing with an appointment.

Other libraries on our list of favorites, like the Cerritos Library, the Beverly Hills Library, the Huntington Beach Library, and the Santa Monica Library have not yet announced opening dates.

If your local library is not on this list, check the website of your town or city’s local library, as many libraries are planning the best ways to open safely!

Programming Is Coming Back, Too

Outdoor programming for a limited number of participants will begin in early summer 2021 and will be available at select libraries. A schedule of upcoming events will be added to the library’s website—if you don’t want to remember to check the website, sign up for your library branch newsletter.

The Spring & Summer Discovery Program is also back! The Library’s yearly celebration of reading has just kicked off and continues through August 8. Kids of all ages can sign up to complete a monthly reading challenge of reading at least one book and then completing three activities (or reading 3 more books). Kids are then entered in a monthly drawing for prizes, as well as the end-of-summer grand prize drawing.

Musical Story Time by Books and Cookies
Ivy Station - 10:00 AM Pick
Knott’s Peanuts Celebration
Knott's Berry Farm - various times
Lunar New Year at Disneyland
Disney California Adventure Park - various times
Exhibition: Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898 - 1971
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures - various times
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides