008 – Los Angeles Public Library – John C. Fremont Branch

look at those shingles!

look at those shingles!

Libraries are important in every stage of life. As a child we go to the library to find all those Goosebumps books our parents won’t buy for us. As a teen we go to check out DVDs and CDs to rip and add to our digital collections. As college students we go to write that paper we’ve had for months, but are just starting to write the night before it is due. As homeless adults we go to get on the Internet and look at porn. And as old people we go to find someone (anyone) to talk to. The library is always there for us, so it is important to be there for our libraries when they need us. That was a duty I had been neglecting for too long, but now that I have a California driver’s license that will be the case no longer. I. Will. Have. Books!

There are two Los Angeles Public Library branches less than a mile from my apartment; I chose to go to the one with fewer reviews mentioning the smell of urine (save the best for last, right?). As you can see above, the building is a beautiful Spanish-style construction. Please pretend I said more architectural buzz words here. Actually, I am always impressed by the design of the libraries around the city. Los Angeles must have put a lot of thought into these buildings, and it shows.

The inside is another story. The library is what I would call quaint. It is just a few rooms, but they have crammed a lot of junk in there. DVDs and graphic novels out of the wazoo; all of the things I like. Oh and they have a decent selection of books. I checked out a couple plays on my first day as a card-carrying member:

look: that one even has paul rudd on the cover

look: that one even has paul rudd on the cover

That’s right, I said “card-carrying.” I officially have Los Angeles library card. I finally feel like a citizen of this fair city. Although I must say I was disappointed by the lack of fanfare. I expected balloons and handshakes all around for deigning to patronize this particular branch. Not so much. The library mostly stayed quiet throughout my entire visit. I guess that’s the whole idea.

The Fremont branch feels like one of the smaller ones. I have absolutely no basis for this claim. Just call it a hunch. But it also feels like the kind of place I will want to call my own. The librarians were very nice (and accomodating for a first-timer). And clearly we have very similar tastes in literature:

neil gaiman's sandman? i'm starting to like this guy

neil gaiman’s sandman likes to read!?

I look forward to checking out some of the other branches in the coming months, but I’ll be returning here whenever I have the opportunity. I finally have a place to look at all of that Internet porn I’ve been hearing about.

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