Children's department pictures
boy reading

Friends of Children and Literature

Los Angeles Public Library Children's Literature Department
girl reading

FRIENDS OF CHILDREN AND LITERATURE was founded in 1979 by teachers, librarians, parents, authors, and illustrators to support and enrich the programs and resources of the Children's Literature Department of the Central Library. Membership has grown from a dedicated group of twenty volunteers to hundreds of participants.

FOCAL's fundraising activities supplement the Department's goals through the purchase of equipment, materials for special collections, and programming support. FOCAL members also helped raise funds for restoration of the Central Library following the devastating 1986 fire.

FOCAL programs promote the Department's rich collection of books, art, and circulating materials available to children and adults. FOCAL members volunteer for fundraising activities, help with department programs, and support the staff in the development and maintenance of its historic research collection of Children's Literature.

NEW:  It is our great pleasure to share "What's with the puppets in Children's Literature?" - a video about the wonderful FOCAL puppets. It has been posted to the library's YouTube channel and shared on the Children's Literature Facebook webpage.
You can access the video here:

EFRÉN DIVIDED   by Ernesto Cisneros

This year's Friends Of Children And Literature (FOCAL) Award went to the outstanding book: Efrén Divided, written by Ernesto Cisneros.

Efren Divided

Information about the award here:


Dear FOCAL friends, readers, and members:
On May 25, 2022, Caroline Gill, the President of FOCAL passed away after a short illness. She will be missed by all of us as she was so dedicated and concerned about FOCAL and children.

Caroline Gill   

Donations can be made to FOCAL by sending them to: FOCAL, LAPL - Children's Literature, 630 West Fifth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071.

Or use the button below to donate via PayPal:

 See what else is going on at the
LAPL Children's Literature Department!

FOCAL Points - Summer, 2023

Some programs, class visits, docent tours, STAR readers, meetings and events have been cancelled until further notice. Check the main LAPL website for further information and re-opening:

Book covers used on various pages are from previous FOCAL Award winners.
Murals of California history are in the Children's Library Department.

History of FOCAL Award
Teacher Guide to Award Book (if available)

Newsletters 2009 - present
and one from 2005

Membership Application


LAPL; Award Author's Websites; Authors and Illustrators Involved with FOCAL; Literature Connections; California History Connections

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