Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Santa Monica Public Library first to have 16mm films

The Santa Monica Public Library was the first library in California to offer 16 mm films and projection equipment for check-out by the public, beginning in 1947. In the first year, the collection grew to 22 films, which were shown at the Main Library and branches. In 1949, public interest in phonograph records resulted in donation of nearly 200 LPs. In 1951 the department was named - Films and Recordings - which grew so rapidly that in 1965 with the opening of the new Main Library, a dedicated Films and Recordings Department was included. The image of the Films and Recordings Department appears in this 1967 photograph, viewable in the Santa Monica Public Library Image Archives online.