Mondays Closed Tuesdays 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Wednesdays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm Thursdays 10:00 am - 8:00 pm Fridays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm Saturdays 10:00 am - 5:30 pm Sundays Closed
In addition to its massive collection of books, the Central Library building itself reflects an intellectual and aesthetically impressive cultural diversity. The public library was first established in 1878; in 1926, it moved into its current home, which is modeled after the Nebraska State Capitol. Originally, the structure was surrounded by rolling grassy knolls, but as the downtown district expanded, those were devoured by parking garages and real estate development. Now almost out-of-place amid towering skyscrapers, the building is a marvel to behold. Downtown L.A. has seen several periods of unrest over the decades, and during the 1980s, two arson attacks damaged the building and a large part of the library’s collections. During reconstruction, a multi-level, more modern wing was added. In both the old and new parts of the building, nary a ceiling or wall is left unadorned, and the murals and massive light fixtures are reason enough to sign up for a library card.