. . . People are turning to the Los Angeles Public Library to meet their need for information, culture and entertainment. For the first time in the library's 137-year history, the Central Library and 72 branches welcomed 17 million people, who borrowed 18 million items, a 10% increase over last year. The library's online resources were just as popular; www.lapl.org received 142 million hits.
Across the city, from Venice to Cypress Park and San Pedro to Sylmar, we're seeing more of our regular patrons plus people using the library for the first time. Why the popularity? In these challenging times there's no better value than the library. It's the place where visitors can choose from 6.2 million books, CDs, DVDs and downloadable books, music and movies. They can use one of 2,200 library computers with Internet access, or bring their own computer and connect to our Wi-Fi. They can also participate in more than 18,000 programs ranging from book discussions to computer classes. All of these services are free.
With the support of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the City Council, and the Board of Library Commissioners, the library is committed to meeting emerging needs. The library also benefits from its "Friends" groups and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, which generously funds many enhancements including children, teen and adults programs, exhibitions, and other cultural programming.