Los Angeles has some great public libraries. With the ability to order any book from any branch, all of the libraries can be pretty great. But South Pasadena, that tiny tree-lined enclave, has created the library we all wish we could have. Entirely self-contained, the budget for music and movies seems to be endless. New albums roll in every day, and the entire Criterion Collection hovers on the shelves waiting for someone to spend three weeks with Nanook of the North. Aside from the intriguing choices, the lights are on seven days a week at South Pasadena Library, and it stays open until 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday — making it practically a late-night spot by sleepy suburban standards. 1100 Oxley St., South Pasadena. (626) 403-7340, ci.south-pasadena.ca.us/library.
—Sean J. O'Connell
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