Library Lovers Day: Interview with a Librarian, Top LA Libraries for Writing and "You Said It!" About Libraries


While February 14 is best known for Valentine’s Day, some may prefer to celebrate the day another way…some may choose Single’s Awareness Day, for example…but we at Roadmap like to honor yet another holiday that highlights a different kind of love…Library Lovers Day!

To celebrate, not only did we run a RomCom Logline Challenge on Twitter and a 30-Word Love Story Challenge on Facebook, we’ll take a moment to chat with a librarian friend, share short lists of libraries in LA, and hear from you about some of your favorite things about the library.


We spoke with our friend Rena Wiriaatmadja, who has 22 years of experience working in libraries. She currently serves as the Branch Supervisor for the Waterford Library in Waterford, CA.

From a librarian’s inside knowledge, what are some things people might be surprised to find their local libraries might offer, and what can writers generally expect to have access to? 

The library is a different place from the days of shushing, severe librarians with buns and only books. Librarians and staff are a varied and young group of folks nowadays. We have tattoos and love pop culture. We’re the nerds you want to see who know a ton of stuff!

Of course, all library systems are a little different, but here are some things that a majority of modern day libraries carry:

  • Internet and printers (color and BW)
  • Archival items and historical books (mostly the main branches of a bigger system have this)
  • Digital Reading products with apps (Libby, Hoopla)
  • Digital movie app (Kanopy)
  • Language Learning apps
  • Paid Databases for magazines and articles for research
  • Copy, Fax, Scanning services
  • Study rooms
  • Free Wi-Fi & mobile printing
  • The most helpful people who will help you to find the resources you need to make your best work a reality!

Some libraries will have City services tied into their branches. I know there are some libraries that have lawyers who will come in and answer questions for customers, a place to pay the City services bills and a variety of Social Service offices!

In my travels, bigger library systems have other items like multimedia workrooms & training  (podcast, Photoshop, video production), STEAM Labs & classes, 3D Printers…

All libraries will have tables, but not all libraries will have power plugs available. Stake out a spot early! The Internet may be slow, but it exists at most every library now.

GET A LIBRARY CARD – a lot of libraries may ask for a card to access some of the resources above. While some may be available while you’re in the physical building, many online resources could be available using your library card and the library website when you’re at home or on the go. Bring what you would bring to work  at a café (laptop, charger, notebook, pens… etc). Make sure to ask the library’s policy on drinks and snacks. Everyone is a little different!

I know you love office supplies! What’s your favorite office supply?

My most favorite office supply is  Post-its and my current favorite Pen is a Uni-Ball One (0.38 mm).

What are the most popular writing books at your location? 

Bird by Bird by Lamott and The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron continue to be the things that check out of my little library the most!

What’s your top tip for writers looking to use the library to write? 

My top tip for writers: Don’t be afraid to ask for help!! Library staff want to help and IT’S FREE!!!! The library staff have resources and other staff to bounce information off of.  Staff will always be a wealth of information! So many things at the library are free or are a very low cost, it doesn’t hurt to ask and talk to us!

Thanks, Rena for your time!

Any time, Raina!


  1. The Los Angeles Central Library is a classic for a reason. As one of the biggest libraries in the United States, it has 99 years of existence to wander through when you need a hot writer walk. In the city of fame, why wouldn’t you start at one of the more famous libraries in the city? You can take a docent-led arts and architecture tour, do a poetry workshop, get tutoring for adults, learn Armenian and so much more here. It’s not an uncommon spot for engagement pictures.
  2. The Los Feliz Branch Library wins for classic, cozy, beautiful, quintessential library vibes and it manages to disappear the chaos of the city for a more peaceful and inspiring mood. As a bonus, it’s literally steps away from tons of fantastic cafes and restaurants when you’re ready to reward yourself for writing. It’s also on the site of Leonardo DiCaprio’s childhood home and celeb sightings are not uncommon.
  3. The West Hollywood Library takes the cake on this list for most modern, state of the art era (as it should, since it opened in the 90s and has been renovated and expanded since). It’s worth a stop to browse the internet or finish that draft next time you’re in the West Hollywood area.

Bonus Library: The Writers Guild Foundation Shavelson-Webb Library is “the only library on the planet focused entirely on writing for the screen.” It’s open by appointment only, Tuesday to Friday 11am-6pm (Thursdays 11am-8pm) and there are policies and guidelines to keep in mind. If you’re looking for a hard-to-find script, check their catalog. You can’t check things out or make copies but you can take notes. The more you know in advance about what you need, the more helpful you will find it to be.

That said, when you need to write, sometimes it’s the closest location that wins. Here’s a few others you could pop into: Culver City Julian Dixon Library, Fairfax Branch Library, Hollywood Regional Branch Library, Mar Vista Library and Westwood Branch Library. 

Did you know that in Los Angeles you can get or refill a MetroTAPS card at library branches? Check out a bunch of the other services and programs LA libraries have on offer. 


We asked our Twitter about libraries and what you love about them, and here’s what you had to say:

Farook Qais (@farook112) noted: “As a former librarian I can’t emphasize enough how much fun exploring a library can be, whether you’re researching for a project or aimlessly wandering; a library can open your mind to new possibilities, as well as opportunities to absorb knowledge & enjoy new worlds.”

Jason Reed (@jprfilm) quipped: "Libraries are amazing~ As much as I’d love to buy every book, it’s just not plausible. But libraries allow me to try new authors, read far wider than I’d otherwise be able to, and learn more about my craft."

Anna Abrashina (@AnnaAbrashina) said what she loves is: “the atmosphere. :) It’s like a magical place for introverts filled with thousands of worlds to discover.”

Kenya Branch (@KeenyaBranch) added: "When I was a kid, the best part of my school day was going to the library and reading a new book."

TraciWrites (@Blackrainbaby) said what she liked most was: “the quietness, I like quiet places.” 


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