Sunday, August 22, 2010
Los Angeles Library Tour - Whittier Central Library
Wow. The Whittier Central Library is one of those places that you walk into and it is the library of my nostalgic dreams. Beautiful design inside and out. It truly is a destination library.
Designed by William H. Harrison, the library was opened in 1959 and still feels futuristic and functional. Inside it is inviting and open with a nice lounge area near the front, a huge children's section, large fiction section, lots of hard to find titles as well as new releases. Numerous internet stations and aisles of deep shelves. A large parking lot faces the rear entrance of the library but the front entrance on Washington Avenue is not to be missed.
The first time we visited, the audio/visual department was upstairs. It was almost like an independent record store! There were record albums decorating the information counter and they even had a painting of Janis Joplin on the back wall. When we stopped in on our latest visit, we found out that they had to close the top floor due to budget cuts. Hopefully they can reopen it soon. Two ways you can support the library - add to the donation box across from the circulation desk or participate in the silent auction of rare books in the lobby.
When I was a kid, I could spend hours browsing the library shelves and come away with a load of books on a variety of topics- anything I found remotely interesting. As I grew older and the 'leisure hours' of the day lessened due to school or work, I narrowed my reading topics and mainly hit just those particular sections of the library. The Whittier Central Library brought me back to that childhood way of browsing the aisles. I went up and down every aisle and found more books than I can possibly get through in the alloted time. Adult practicalities returned to me before I moseyed up to the circulation desk, I narrowed my selection for the day and wrote down the books I put back so they can be easily pulled on the next visit.
While we did make the Whittier Central Library our main destination, thats not to say thats all we did in Whittier. We made a stop by our favorite supplier of all things tiki, Oceanic Arts. We had delicious puffy picadillo tacos at Arturo's. Cruised Greenleaf toMonte's Camera. Found some cool thrift stores. Dropped some cash at Lovells Records and The Little Old Bookshop. It was a full day. Get to Whittier early. And often!