Happy Birthday Burnett Neighborhood Library

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Burnett Neighborhood Library has a history of firsts. Beginning with its namesake, Thomas Burr Burnett, who brokered and managed the first railway to serve the Harbor, the Burnett branch of the Long Beach Public Library system was the first branch built by the city* to serve its growing population. It reflects Long Beach’s expansion into the farming and commercial flower fields of the Burnett area near Signal Hill and the Burnett Terminal Railway Station.

This 1924 Classical Revival building predated the current libraryOpened in a room of Burnett School on November 12, 1910, the city built a new Classical Revival building in 1924 at 560 E. Hill. This building served the community—the patio was a temporary library from 1933-1938 after the earthquake—until 1968 when famed Mid-Century architect, Paul Tay, designed the current building. 

Storytime at Burnett LibraryOther firsts at Burnett include:

  • The 1971 Federal grant to wage “The War on Poverty,” leading to specialized collections in Black History Books (now integrated into the African American Resources Area [AARA]);

  • Piloting LBPL’s “Project Read” in 1985 with a State Library grant; 

  • The city’s first Family Learning Center which opened in 1999 (with four computers!)


After the 1933 Earthquake, Burnett’s patio was the hub of the branch’s services for five years until the building could be restored.
Today, Burnett Neighborhood Library is proud to continue to serve the neighborhood by hosting the African American Heritage Society of Long Beach, many after-school programs, and of course, a very busy Family Learning Center.

Join us on November 16, 2019 in celebrating Burnett’s 109th birthday, and 50 years in our current building. From 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM there will be games and treats. Residents can participate in a special interactive exhibit of Burnett history—help us identify past staff and patrons, share your memories, and explore our community garden.

Feel free to bring a USB drive if you would like to scan any of our wonderful memories. Or, if you have your own photos or stories of the Burnett Branch Library, we’d like to collect them for future library users.


*The Alamitos Branch is the oldest library facility in Long Beach. However, it was built by the residents of Alamitos neighborhood, not by the city. It was gifted to the city in 1910.


Visit the Burnett Neighborhood Library
560 E. Hill St.
Long Beach, CA 90806

Branch Hours
Mon  Closed
Tue  12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Wed  12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Thu  12:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Fri  10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sat  10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun  Closed


Each month LBPL's website will feature a different neighborhood library and the unique history, programs, and services the branch provides to the surrounding community. Stay tuned for more exciting features!