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Message from Library Director Skye Patrick

Message from Library Director Skye Patrick

Message from Library Director Skye Patrick 1024 683 LA County Library

Message from Library Director Skye Patrick

Recovery. Resilience. Action. These were the hallmarks of 2021 for LA County Library. Throughout the pandemic, the Library worked diligently and resourcefully to provide a continuation of services and programs to the more than 3.4 million residents that depend on us.

Looking back, I can’t help but reflect on everything the Library has been able to orchestrate while navigating uncertain waters. Despite the greater challenges impacting our libraries and communities, our staff executed a myriad of initiatives with sincerity, drive, and passion.

I am so thankful for our customers’ support during these unprecedented times. We are grateful to be able to connect with you through our Sidewalk Service, our digital library resources, our programs, and at our libraries.

Our mission has always been to provide you with high-quality free programs, information, and resources. I am proud of what the Library has accomplished over the past year to support this endeavor.

Some highlights from 2021 include:

  • We officially became a fine-free institution, eliminating fines for overdue books and materials. For years, we sought a fine-free model to address the financial burden and strain of administrative fines and fees for vulnerable families. We could not be more thrilled about this accomplishment.
  • The Library safely reopened 82 of its 85 libraries for in-person service and celebrated our newly refurbished libraries: Norwalk, Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey, Maywood César Chávez, Masao W. Satow, and Live Oak. Our libraries in Carson, Temple City, West Covina, and San Dimas are slated to reopen in 2022 once their refurbishments and upgrades are completed.
  • To align with the reopening of our libraries, we launched a series of in-person events and activities for kids, teens, and adults. Since June 2021, we hosted more than 834 in-person programs, including a school readiness Storytime, teen life skills programs, STEAM activities, hobby and DIY-focused activities, and cultural exploration presentations. These programs collectively drew more than 12,398 attendees.
  • The Library continued to offer a robust lineup of Virtual Programs for all ages, with more than 569 pre-recorded and live virtual programs that drew more than 18,723 attendees and more than 83,210 views.
  • In partnership with CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), we offered free COVID-19 testing at 14 of our library parking lots.
  • We hosted 70 COVID-19 vaccine clinics that administered 1,311 vaccine doses and 13 Flu Shot clinics that disseminated 1,370 flu shots.
  • The Library partnered with LA Regional Food Bank to distribute more than 52,755 grab-and-go Lunch at the Library breakfasts and lunches to County residents for free.
  • Several initiatives received awards from the California State Association of Counties, California Library Association, and Los Angeles County. Programs that were honored include our Work Ready career and professional development program, Laptop & Hotspot Loans, Parent-Ade virtual support program for distance learning, and Park & Connect free Wi-Fi service.
  • To support our customer’s early literacy efforts, the Library launched Reading Buddies, a virtual reading support program that pairs children with reading tutors for weekly, interactive virtual sessions.
  • We distributed more than 2,050 books and 163 student library cards across several probation area offices for probation-involved youth.
  • We partnered with WE RISE on a public art installation called Love Letters in Light, which featured 317 uplifting messages, poems, and literary quotes on LED signs at 10 of our libraries.
  • The Library launched new free digital resources: ABCmouse, a virtual education resource featuring 10,000 learning activities, and PressReader, which offers free, unlimited access to thousands of magazines and newspapers.
  • We continued to expand technology support to address the digital divide, circulating 562 Laptop & Hotspot kits. Our Park & Connect free Wi-Fi program logged more than 205,732 Wi-Fi sessions across our library parking lots, while our public computers logged an average of 226,893 sessions. We remain steadfast in our commitment to helping those without internet or devices stay connected.

We are thrilled to have you back at our libraries. Your visits and participation in our virtual and in-person programs inspires us every day to be better.

In the words of Maya Angelou, “The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”

We look forward to sparking curiosity and creativity with you in 2022.

From our hearts to yours, LA County Library wishes you a safe and happy new year.

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