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The Children's Literature Department


Located on Level Two (L2) of the Goodhue Building: Department Map

Phone: (213) 228-7250  |  Fax: (213) 228-7259  |  E-mail (form)

Department Staff

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Activities & Events

Opportunities abound for exploration, entertainment, and learning in the Children’s Literature Department, one of the most beautiful and vibrant areas in Central Library. Surrounded by historic murals depicting early California history, the past, present and future all converge in this one dynamic location.

Activities in the Children’s Literature Department regularly include:

Baby, Preschool, and Family Storytimes
Puppet Shows
Author and Illustrator Programs
Craft Activity Programs
Class Visits and Field Trips
STAR Readers
Summer Reading Club


Home to an impressive collection of over 230,000 books, audiobooks, music CDs, and DVDs, plus a state-of-the-art Computer Zone ensuring that children have access to ample digital resources and online homework help, the department also specializes in:

Alphabet and Counting Books
Fairytales and Folklore
Toy Movable Books

Special Collections

  • Gladys English Collection of Original Illustration for Children’s Books
    Gathered in 1962 by the California Library Association and acquired by Los Angeles Public Library in1989, this is a collection of over 200 pieces of art in various media, representing some of the treasuresof American children's books illustration, including pieces from more than twenty Caldecott Medal recipients.
  • International Language Picture Book Collection
    A historic collection of over 5,000 titles from more than 50 countries. (sponsored by the Riordan Foundation)
  • Mother Goose Collection
    An extensive and historic collection of Mother Goose literature. (sponsored by Muriel P. and Gordon Bodek)


Established in 1979, the Friends of Children and Literature (FOCAL) brings children, books, and authors together though special events and programs at the Central Library. FOCAL also established the FOCAL Award which is presented annually to an author or illustrator for a creative work which enriches a child’s appreciation for and understanding of California history. 

Every year, FOCAL holds an essay contest for students in grades 4-8. Students who wish to enter this year's contest must read the book Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko and compose an essay of no more than 300 words. The deadline to enter the contest is November 3, 2017.

The FOCAL used book sale is held the 3rd Saturday of every month in the Rotunda.

For more information or to become a FOCAL volunteer visit or call 213-228-7252.