Our LA County Library understands the value of access to its services in helping to educate and support our communities. To provide outreach to underserved populations who may not be able to easily visit traditional library locations, the County library recently installed three book kiosks at community housing sites and is also offering programs at each site designed for the residents. These include book clubs, cultural art programs, and sending outreach librarians to teach residents about library offerings like online courses and resources.
The three kiosks are at Carmelitos Public Housing Facility in North Long Beach, Nueva Maravilla Public Housing Facility in East Los Angeles and David & Maggie’s Café / Transitional Age Youth Housing Complex in La Verne.
While the public can visit the Dave & Maggie’s location, these kiosks are intended specifically for residents of each site, to make it easier for them to access library resources. Each kiosk has a rotating, browsable collection of 800 books, many of which have been tailored to residents’ needs, including books in Spanish and Simplified Chinese.
Beyond merely providing easy-to-access materials, the kiosks and associated programs have created a sense of community, allowing residents to be engaged in an impactful way. Although the programming is less than six months old, the effects have already been noticeable. In this time, the County library has presented 35 programs, with over 300 residents attending. Isolated residents have started to participate in the programs and have formed friendships, and the book clubs promote healing through social connectedness.