• December 27, 2023

Message from Library Director Skye Patrick

Message from Library Director Skye Patrick

Message from Library Director Skye Patrick 1024 683 LA County Library

A New Year Message

A message from Library Director Skye Patrick

LA County Library Director Skye Patrick

As another remarkable year closes, we are taking a moment to reflect on the extraordinary journey LA County Library embarked on in 2023.

In an era marked by unparalleled challenges to our freedom to read and access information, libraries persist in playing a pivotal role in upholding the public’s essential right to access information, services, and resources that are vital for personal development and growth. Our steadfast commitment to dismantling barriers, enriching lives, and bridging societal gaps is evident in the indispensable resources we provide to individuals and families who rely on us as their lifeline.

Despite the challenges that defined the past year, we express gratitude for the opportunity to have played a crucial role in unlocking a myriad of possibilities for our customers and contributing to a future where knowledge knows no bounds.

A significant milestone for us was receiving the esteemed 2023 National Medal from the Institute of Museums and Library Service, which recognizes our contributions to the public and library field. This extraordinary honor was made possible by the unwavering dedication of our library staff, who consistently go above and beyond to support our customers and their local communities.

In addition to this remarkable achievement, other highlights from the past year include:

NaloxoneHealth and Wellness Resources
Demonstrating our dedication to furnishing resources and services that contribute to the well-being of the community, we initiated the distribution of naloxone throughout our libraries to address the opioid epidemic. Furthermore, we introduced Mpox vaccines to complement our existing services, which include hosting Flu Shot, COVID-19 vaccine, and antigen test clinics, distributing diaper and feminine hygiene kits, and offering free lunches during the summer months to school-age kids.

Banned books displayBooks Unbanned
Your freedom to read is a fundamental right. Reading is among our greatest freedoms and provides endless opportunities for people to learn about different life experiences, cultures, and the world. As a champion for intellectual freedom, we partnered with Brooklyn Public Library and Seattle Public Library to join the Books Unbanned initiative, a response to the growing number of book bans and challenges cropping up across the nation. With the Books Unbanned initiative, we are offering teens across California ages 13 to 18 free and unrestricted access to our entire digital eBook and audiobook collection on Libby, by OverDrive, which includes many frequently banned titles.

Carson Library reference deskWelcoming Customers to Renovated Spaces
This year we successfully reopened Florence Library and Carson Library, both of which underwent multimillion-dollar renovations to support the growing needs of their customers. These revitalized spaces are ready to serve and inspire customers for years to come, thanks to the generous support and partnership of Los Angeles County and Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell’s 2nd District.

Entertainer at Library Fest 2023Community-Focused Programming
In addition to a robust lineup of in-person and virtual programs, we launched Library Fest, a series of celebrations that welcomed our friends and neighbors back to 10 libraries across Los Angeles County. Thousands of customers joined us for afternoons filled with fun library activities and resources. These programs were wildly successful, and our customers can anticipate seeing more Library Fest events in the new year.

Little Library at Grand ParkExpanding Literacy Beyond Library Walls
Libraries open doors and we are constantly making it our mission to provide library services that help populations in need, including in non-traditional settings. This past year, we revived our library at the recently reopened Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, bringing much needed resources to support its community’s literacy and educational goals, in addition to their overall mental health and emotional wellness. We also launched Books for Jails, which enables customers to support literacy and lifelong learning at LA County Jails by donating lightly used books and materials at their closest library.

In addition to our active mobile fleet of outreach vehicles and bookmobiles, we recently introduced four new LA County Little Libraries at Gloria Molina Grand Park, located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles and Supervisor Hilda L. Solis’ 1st District. Our iconic purple and hot pink Little Libraries located near the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, Court of Flags, and Billy Johnson Playground, are stocked with a small collection of books for children, teens, and adults. We encourage customers to visit one of the Little Libraries, take a book, and donate a book for someone else to enjoy.

Honoring Diverse Communities
In the month of June, we proudly hoisted the Progress Pride Flag at library locations capable of hosting it, marking the celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month. We also recognized National Veterans and Military Families Month by expressing our gratitude and solidarity with our veterans and their families. This was exemplified through our collaboration with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in their Operation Green Light initiative, where green lights adorned the exteriors of our four Veteran Resource Centers at Lancaster, Lawndale, La Puente, and Norwalk libraries, as well as the Pico Rivera Library. These efforts complemented our ongoing work to create book displays, booklists, resources, programs, and activities that celebrate African American and Black History MonthArmenian History MonthAsian Pacific American Heritage MonthJewish American Heritage MonthMuslim American Heritage MonthNative American Heritage MonthHispanic Heritage MonthIndigenous Migrants Month, and other celebrations that recognize Los Angeles County’s diverse communities.

Strategic Planning for the Future
Looking ahead, we are excited to embark on our new strategic plan for the next five years. Based on the feedback we collected from our 2022 Community Feedback Sessions and the service needs and opportunities our system has identified in our daily operations, we are unveiling a strategic plan in 2024 that will help guide and shape the development of innovative programs and services that will help expand access and cultivate a dynamic environment for our diverse customer base. From a pilot program that will offer tutoring to school-age kids in the summer months to more diversity in our collection of books and materials, we are looking forward to sharing more about the exciting new endeavors that are to come in the new year.

We extend our deepest gratitude to you, our valued community members, for your unwavering support and engagement. Our work and dedication to you won’t stop in the new year.

Please visit us in person or online and if you have the time, check out our staff recommended books for 2023. We look forward to opening more doors of possibility and change with you.

Here’s to the exciting possibilities that lie ahead in 2024!

From our hearts to yours, we wish you a safe and prosperous happy new year!


boy learning at the library.
Librarians unpacking at Compton library
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