The Willowbrook Library occupies a very special place in the history of the County of Los Angeles Public Library. The Los Angeles County Free Library, as it was then called, was founded September 5, 1912.
On Christmas Eve Day, 1912, the County Librarian received a petition from the residents of the Willowbrook Community, requesting that Willowbrook have the first County branch library. This petition was followed up with a long distance call from Mrs. Belle Jenks offering her services and her home for the purpose. Both offers were accepted and on April 23, 1913, Willowbrook opened as the first branch library of the Los Angeles County Public Library with an initial shipment of 50 books.
The library was open for 2 days in April 1913 and circulated 18 books. In July 1919, the library was moved to a room in the Post Office at rental of $20.00 a month (later reduced during the Depression to $15.00 a month). In 1950, a library was built on El Segundo Boulevard but was damaged by fire during the 1965 Watts riots. Rebuilt with community donations and dedicated in June 1966, Willowbrook Library served the community at the El Segundo location until the library was relocated to its present location in 1987.
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