Armenian Youth Explore Shahan Natalie Collection at LA Public Library

Sylva with the  ACYO youth

LOS ANGELES–Under the auspices of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, the (APN) Armenian Professionals Network organized a fieldtrip to the Central Library in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday June 20, 2009. 

Complimentary transportation services, to and from the public library, were provided by Councilman Greig Smith’s District 12 Office.  St. Peter Armenian Apostolic Church ACYO hosted the event by providing breakfast and lunch to all the participants.

Los Angeles Public Library was established in 1872.The Central Library was built in 1926, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  LAPL serves one of the largest and most diverse populations of any public library in the United States, in a service area that spans nearly 500 square miles, from Venice to Eagle Rock, and San Pedro to Chatsworth.  Whether you are interested in Literature, Science, History, or Art, the Central Library of Los Angeles has it all.

Sylva Natalie Manoogian, a library professional and one of the founding members of the APN was our tour guide for the day and led us on an adventure through the various subject departments of the Central Library.  As we explored the 8 different levels of the library, I kept thinking about what we, as Armenians, have accomplished.  A sense of pride overtook me.

The International Languages Department alone offers an Armenian language collection of several thousand monographs and subscriptions to the most popular newspapers, published locally, which keep the Armenian language readers in touch with events in their homeland and countries where they have lived en route to the United States.  This collection bears the name “Shahan Natalie Armenian Language and Literature Collection,” endowed by Manoogian’s family on the occasion of her retirement, from nearly 40 years of public library service, in April 1999.

With the help of people like Sylva Natalie Manoogian and her father Shahan Natalie, Armenian books, artifacts, and publishings are being preserved for current and future generations.
You can learn more about the Armenian resources of this treasure house of knowledge by visiting the Los Angeles Public Library website at <> .
Our library tour and treasure hunt concluded with a delightful lunch.  APN will plan other outings for youth in the near future.


Editor’s Note: Melanie Tatiossian is a 10 grade student at Calabasas High School

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