a view of the children's literature reading room and collections

The Children’s Literature Department is home to an impressive collection of over 250,000 books in English, Spanish, and 22 other languages. Other formats include VOX books, magazines, audiobooks, music CDs, and DVDs. Access quality digital resources, such as online databases, encyclopedias, online homework help, and much more at Kids Path.

Special Collections

The Children's Literature Department houses an extensive historical reference collection of children's books that can be used in-house for research purposes.

The department specializes in:

  • Mother Goose
  • Alphabet and Counting Books
  • Californiana
  • Fairytales and Folklore
  • Poetry

Reference books do not circulate outside the library. Please note, adult readers will be asked to leave a photo ID at the reference desk while viewing reference material.

Additionally, the Children’s Literature Department is reserved for children and their caregivers. Adult readers, unaccompanied by a child, are welcome to request reference materials, but will be asked to view those materials in the nearby Art Department.

Gladys English Collection of Original Illustration for Children’s Books

Gathered in 1962 by the California Library Association and acquired by the Los Angeles Public Library in 1989, this is a collection of over 200 pieces of art in various media, representing some of the treasures of American children's book illustration, including pieces from more than twenty Caldecott Medal recipients. The Gladys English Collection is housed in the Rare Books Department, and is available for viewing by appointment only.

Riordan 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.

Toy Movable Books

The department’s reference collection of pop-up and other 3-dimensional and movable books.