KCET – “In the librarian history of Los Angeles, Charles Lummis and Mary Foy are two of Los Angeles’ better known librarians, though their tenures as librarians were brief compared to their larger roles in Los Angeles. Known as Miss Los Angeles, Mary Foy was the first woman to be City Librarian, serving from 1880 to 1884. She worked to preserve the city’s history in numerous ways, from organizing the Los Angeles High School alumni to organizing the First Century Families. Charles Lummis was never trained as a librarian and only served as City Librarian from 1905 – 1910. His acquisitions on the Spanish and Mexican period of California’s history are still held in the library’s collection today, and Lummis’ own private library became the foundation for the Southwest Museum Library, now part of the Autry National Center’s Braun Research Library. At the American Library Association convention in 1906, Lummis founded a briefly-lived tongue-in-cheek organization The Bibliosmiles, a “Rally of Librarians Who Are Nevertheless Human.” The organization’s motto was “To Keep the Bookdust Off Our Own Topshelves’.” (More details about the Bibliosmiles on blog “Library History Buff Blog”).”
LA Times – “Firing library aides and office assistants leaves the school district in free-fall. It’s time to tap emergency funds, cut state redevelopment agencies and discuss raising businesses’ property taxes.”
LA Times – “Flip back in time to downtown Los Angeles nearly five years ago — before tiny dogs were everywhere and fancy strollers anywhere, before you could walk 10 minutes south of City Hall and find cafe after cafe serving lattes. Picture living in a loft on a quite lonely stretch of Main Street on the edge of skid row, short on the necessities that most residential areas take for granted. Then imagine one day finding a new store full of crisp hardcovers. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, we’re civilized,’ ” said Jacqualine Mills-Lord, a writer who shed tears of joy at the sight of Metropolis Books.”
LA Times – “The new public library in West Hollywood isn’t expected to officially open until October, but at least one component of the complex is already garnering public attention: a new group of murals created by street artists Shepard Fairey, Retna and Kenny Scharf. The outdoor murals are a joint project by the artists, the city of West Hollywood and the Museum of Contemporary Art. They can be found on the library’s parking structure, near the corner of Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard, across from the Pacific Design Center.”
LA Times Op/Ed – “Soon after I became a school librarian, a teacher came to me about Mario, an eighth-grader who had never read an entire book. Mario struggled to read at all, and English was not his first language, but he was a bright kid whose teacher believed in him. I recommended a short, funny, mysterious book that appeals to reluctant boy readers. Mario took it home, read it in a week and came back with his friends in tow to check out the remaining titles in the series.”
LA Times – “If state education cuts are drastic, the librarians’ only chance of keeping a paycheck is to prove they’re qualified to be switched to classroom teaching. So LAUSD attorneys grill them.”
LA Times – “The two-day event kicks off with panel discussions, author signings and row upon row of fiction, nonfiction, comics, plays, cookbooks, biographies and more. Some 150,000 attendees are expected.”
LA Times – “An era will end May 10 for Southern California museumgoers: It will be the last day adults can get into a major museum for less than $10 — not counting the periodic free days or hours that most museums offer, and the handful of venues that are always free.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a request by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County to hike its prices from $9 to $12 at the main museum in Exposition Park, and from $7 to $12 at the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits — although museum leaders have decided to raise the Page’s admission only to $11 for now.”
LA Times – “When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave his State of the City speech Wednesday night, the focus was on education. But in one of the few moments that he didn’t talk about education reform — when he wasn’t getting his biggest applause of the night by talking about fixing potholes — he touched on public libraries.
KPCC’s Frank Stoltz reported that the mayor promised further cuts in city spending, and that “Villaraigosa offered few details, but did offer some good news — he wants to provide money to reopen libraries on Mondays and add park space.”
LA Times – “In this year of shortfalls and cutbacks, libraries have taken some of the hardest hits. Eight regional libraries began closing on Sundays earlier this year. Last month, hours at the city’s 73 neighborhood branches were cut back a day, to five days a week, starting July 18. Council members are considering placing a $30-million tax measure on the November ballot. It would cost property owners an extra $39 annually — about what I paid in late fees on library books last year. And it would let neighborhood libraries stay open six days again. But it wouldn’t bring back the librarians who were laid off or forced into retirement.”