The Lynwood Library was established in May 1915. It began as a volunteer library, but soon joined the Los Angeles County Public Library System. From a small club-house room on Long Beach Boulevard, the library was moved in 1917 to a storeroom at the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Fernwood Avenue, then to Elmwood Avenue, from 1918-24. From 1924 to 1956, the library was housed in the old building on Sanborn Avenue. In 1956, a new structure was built in the Civic Center to house this fast-growing County Library facility. During the next decade, the library patronage again outgrew the library building. In 1977, a new library at the present location opened for service. The library was refurbished in the fall of 2004.
The current collection is comprised of 115,542 books, 14,933 audio-visual (AV) materials (DVDs, audio tapes, CDs, and videos), 117 magazine and newspaper subscriptions, and a local history collection. 20% of the collection is in Spanish.
The Lynwood Library offers a full range of services including general reference assistance, online library catalogs that provide access to the entire County Library collection and to online reference databases and public access Internet computers with word processing programs. Children's programs include a Homework Center for children in grades 3 to 6. Other available services are:
A Literacy Center for adults working on their personal reading and writing skills
Coin-operated photocopy machine
A Friends of the Library DVD and video rental collection
A public meeting room (available on a rental basis)
Located in the Lynwood Civic Center, the library, with an area of 12,000 square feet, features the following major areas: an adult section, a children's area, an adult literacy area and a meeting room with a capacity of 106. Special collections include Black History materials and Spanish books and magazines.