The Library Foundation of Los Angeles supports and enriches the capabilities, resources and services of the Los Angeles Public Library. We accomplish our mission through fundraising, advocacy, and innovative programs that benefit our diverse community and promote greater awareness of the Library's valuable resources. Our support complements, but does not supplant, the City's responsibility for funding the Los Angeles Public Library's operations.
Since its establishment in 1872, the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) has been one of the city's most valued cultural and educational institutions. The Central Library and 71 branches serve nearly four million people ? the largest and most diverse constituency served by any public library in the nation ? in a geographic area that spans nearly 500 square-miles. Approximately 1,250,000 residents of the Los Angeles area have library cards for the LAPL and people visited the Library more than 18 million times last year. The Library Foundation of Los Angeles was incorporated in 1992 as an independent nonprofit organization with the mission of seeking private sector support to enrich the capabilities, resources, and services of the Los Angeles Public Library. The mission of the Library Foundation is critical because it works with the one institution that has the broadest impact on Angelenos: the public library. The Foundation partners with the private sector to support programs and resources not included in the city budget. Among these are: summer reading programs for children and teens, after-school reading enrichment programs during the academic year, adult literacy programs, new technologies to provide the public with free and equal access to the latest in electronic information resources, exhibitions, and cultural programs. The Library Foundation also advocates for library funding and broad community support. Since its creation, the Foundation has raised more than $80 million to support library programs and services citywide.