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1.1.1 Children reading books in the library of the Solano Avenue school

Photograph of children reading books in the library of the Solano Avenue School, [s.d.]. Thirteen children are pictured in a small reading room, each bowing their head down to a book, except for a single child in the center background who looks out the window. At center, a table holds extra books and brings together four students, while other students sit in surrounding chairs.; "Informality is the keynote of many of the classes for members of the lower elementary grades in Los Angeles City schools. Above is a view in the library at the Solano Avenue school, where children are encouraged to do independent reading" -- unknown author.
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Photographic Print
Children reading books in the library of the Solano Avenue school. California Historical Society and University of Southern California Libraries, California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960, CHS-44509.

This is a photograph of a library that likely does not look like yours. Notice the furniture, the room, the way that the students are organized, and what they are doing. How does this library look similar to and different from what you see and do at your school? Do any of the rooms in your school have fireplaces? What rules do you think are needed in this setting? Why?

The Solano Avenue School has been in operation in Los Angeles since the early 1900s. An unknown author wrote this note on the back of the photograph: "Informality is the keynote of many of the classes for members of the lower elementary grades in Los Angeles City schools. Above is a view in the library at the Solano Avenue school, where children are encouraged to do independent reading.” This quote and the image were produced in 1939, and the photo and its note illustrate how a school library was once organized and how students used that space.