Free space to work, wifi, conference room rentals, magazines and ambiance! No excuse to not co-work when libraries are still free resources. We are lucky to have some of the most beautiful libraries in the nation right here in LA, some go beyond just books and offer a great place for meeting, free entertainment, community programs and so much more. Whether you need a break from sitting and typing at a coffee shop or just want to spend an afternoon surrounded by gorgeous architecture and immerse yourself in literary heaven, these are 6 libraries we think you should “book” a visit to soon.
Tip: Library Cards are free for LA residents, and very easy to get by calling ahead or walking up to the service desk when you first walk in. Also, utilize your local librarian! They are like the hosts of the best party ever, only the party is just set in a room with a lot of novels. Don’t be shy about asking them to help you find your book of choice or just to inquire about all the cool things going down in their library world.
Neighborhood: West Hollywood
We’ve got to start off talking about our fave thing here – the beautiful glass windows that offer one of the best views overlooking West Hollywood. This library has rotating art exhibitions and offers both study and meeting rooms for free if you book ahead. Plenty of seating, comfy and spacious nooks and seating, and a variety of programming including learning a new language and…coloring for adults? Yes please.
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills
When you think about a day in Beverly Hills you may first envision Rodeo shopping and Palm Tree lined streets bursting with celebrity sightings, but we need to add this library to that picture. This is a great place for browsing some magazines for inspo, and of course they need to give it that extra Beverly Hills charm by adding a cute coffee shop and fudge factory right next door. This library is clean, organized, and offers easy parking right under the building. Since most coffee shops close in the afternoon, head over and enjoy the library’s night hours that typically go until 9:30 pm on Mondays to Thursdays. For writers looking for extra help publishing their work, we highly recommend their Writer’s Corner. And since we know most LA Girls love to travel, you can also get your passport renewed here.
Neighborhood: Downtown Los Angeles
This big and treasured beauty houses more than 2.8 million books, 5,000 magazine subscriptions and 3 million photographs. Since originating in 1926, the Central Library’s history is fascinating and we highly recommend taking a tour to learn about the brilliant minds and LA icons that went in to building it. It is listed as a Historical Cultural Monument and truly an inspiring place to go to work on your own agenda, or to just head there and immerse yourself in traditional and modern architecture. Pro tip: plan a whole day here and take a lunch break at Grand Central Market Downtown. Also, the library rotunda is extremely photo-worthy, so get ready for some great shots.
A backdrop for many movies including the Mel Gibson flick “What Women Want”, this library has everything you could ask for – a Harry Potter vibed entrance with a giant bell tower that will make you feel like you are Notre Dame in the 1920’s. Open to the public, Hoose is the best place to brush up on the philosophy greats and to learn about medieval studies, all while watching the USC students cram for finals or write that paper due the next morning.
Free to residents of Glendale, this one may just be the most charming in the library land of LA. The surrounding Brand Park offers hiking trails, plenty of fresh green grass to lay on in the sun, and historic little homes that have a special story to tell. The Brand Library & Art Center offers plenty of free diverse programming in both visual arts and music, and we personally love the drumming and dance performances. You’ll feel like you are working in a home that would be featured in a game of Clue, yet with comfy chairs and plenty of mellow mood inducing lighting.
Neighborhood: San Marino
We saved the most decadent and grand for last. The Huntington Library is your place for nerding out with rare books and historic photos, but is known more for the world famous art museum and botanical gardens. This library is more well suited for a field trip than cramming for a test, and we highly recommend getting an advance reservation or springing to become an annual member. You can literally stop to smell the roses in their rose garden, or head to the desert garden for a western delight. Be sure to pack some snacks and water, as you can spend the whole day outdoors here and still leave feeling like you need to see more.