While reading through the 1936-37 Annual Report from the Board of Library Commissioners of the Los Angeles Public Library I came across a section called 'Books Outdoors' that drove me to see if I could find an accompanying photo in the LAPL Photo Collection.
The 1936-37 Annual Report reported that in July 1936 an outdoor 'Reading Station' had been set up on the Central Library lawn, complete with a 'big sun umbrella, a book truck, table and benches.' Soon 1500 books and magazines a month were being borrowed from the Reading Station. A photo of this Reading Station is part of LAPL's recently digitized Herman J. Schultheis Collection.
Apparently the Park Commission was so impressed they asked the library to set up a reading corner in Pershing Square. WPA men were in charge of the corner when it opened in December 1936, its hours were Monday through Saturday 9:30am to 3pm. Herman Schultheis photographed the Pershing Square reading area also. Within ten months nearly 26,000 books and magazines had been borrowed from the two outdoor reading areas.
Would a reading corner be as popular in Pershing Square now?