In a world where too many people think their every moment is essential to share online, it's worth stepping back in time to when photographs weren't instant and told more important, mysterious stories than Instagram ever will. The Photo Friends is a volunteer nonprofit organization that preserves and promotes the 70,000-photo collection of the L.A. Public Library, chronicling the history of the City of Angels from 1880 to today. It's available online, of course, but leave the laptop and come to the History & Genealogy Department at the Central Library, where past exhibits have covered topics including California lifestyle, Hollywood scandals, prewar history and visits by Kennedy and King — all in glorious black-and-white and all worth the face time. —James Bartlett

630 W. Fifth Street, dwntwn., 90071. (213) 228-7000,

LA Weekly