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Vassie D. Wright Branch Library Celebrates 100 Years
By Staff and wire report
Published November 25, 2015

LOC - jefferson park library

On Tuesday November 10, the Jefferson Park community came together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Jefferson Park- Vassie D. Wright Branch Library. The event, which began at 3:00 pm came complete with birthday cake and fun activities for the kids. Dignitaries at the event have sent out a heart felt thanks via Facebook to all who attended.

“[The celebration] was a huge success! We still don’t know how we managed to fit so many people into our library! A special thanks to our generous sponsors: The Friends of the Jefferson Library, El Valle Oaxaqueno, Westside Loan, Mr. Yoon, Westminster Presbyterian, and the Book Princess,” they posted.

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“This library is an essential part of the community,” said Sr. Librarian Karla Valdez.

“The Jefferson Branch Library has nurtured the neighborhood and adapted to the changing landscape and culture of the Jefferson Park community over the past century.”

Listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places for its early 20th century Spanish-style architecture, the Jefferson Branch Library opened as a deposit station at the Soffel Drug Store, at 2100 W. Jefferson St., around 1912-13. In November 1915, as a result of a community petition, a branch was opened in a rented store in a new building at 2065 W. Jefferson St. Heavy community use led the Library Board in 1922 to secure the lot at 2211 W. Jefferson St. for the branch library.

Architect C.E. Norenberg designed the new building for the Jefferson Branch in a modified Spanish style, and it opened to the public in November 1923. From the beginning the library enjoyed heavy usage and by 1929, the book stock at the branch had increased 150 percent, making Jefferson one of the 10 busiest branch libraries in Los Angeles. In 1945, Vassie D. Wright established the “Our Authors Study Club” at the Jefferson Branch. The Club, with Wright’s leadership, sponsored the first citywide Negro History Week in February 1949. On May 22, 1984, the Library Board passed a resolution to rename the branch “Jefferson Branch – Vassie D. Wright Memorial.

“Our Authors Study Club still meets at the Jefferson Branch Library the third Saturday of every month.

A 2015 recipient of the nation’s highest honor for library service—the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Los Angeles Public Library serves the largest and most diverse urban population of any library in the nation. Its Central Library, 72 branch libraries, collection of more than 6 million books, state-of the-art technology accessible at www.lapl.org, and more than 18,000 public programs a year provide everyone with free and easy access to information and the opportunity for life-long learning. The Jefferson Branch is located in the Tenth Council District represented by Councilman Herb J. Wesson, Jr.

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