Amidst Los Angeles's abundance of cultural offerings, the extraordinary holdings of area libraries are commonly overlooked. The World from Here celebrates the remarkable depth and diversity of special collections libraries in Los Angeles county by presenting a wide variety of objects drawn from thirty-two local institutions. These libraries span a great distance: from Santa Monica on the county's west side, to Pomona on the east; from the northern reaches of Northridge, to Long Beach in the South Bay. They also represent various types of institutions, from larger, well-known collections, to more than a dozen university libraries, to a number of libraries devoted to specialized fields, such as film and television, botanical books, and books for the blind. Not surprisingly, these various institutions house a great diversity of rare books, manuscripts, letters, photographs, posters, and works of art ranging from objects as sacred as an eighth-century Buddhist scroll to something as quotidian as a nineteenth-century children's board game.
In promoting an awareness of what LA's libraries have to offer, this exhibition increases its audiences' appreciation of the collections and encourages their public use.