The Library Book

The Library Book

Book - 2018
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Reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, the 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire, while exploring the crucial role that libraries play in modern American culture.
Publisher: New York, New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, ©2018.
ISBN: 9781476740188
Characteristics: 317 pages :,illustrations, portraits ;,25 cm.


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IndyPL_EmilyC Oct 23, 2018

The author offers an insightful view of the enduring value of libraries to the community and the ways they can continue to inspire and assist anyone who walks through their doors. Truly an amazing must-read to anyone who loves their library.

Oct 20, 2018

The author's love of her subject shines through on every page in her latest book. As a resident of L.A., Orlean was surprised to learn about a 1986 fire in the L.A. Public Library that she had never previously known about. In exploring more about the story, her research uncovers the intriguing history of the library in Los Angeles, as well as the pioneering future of libraries worldwide. Beautifully written, packed with real history, even spinning some suspense; I loved this book!

Oct 10, 2018

"Here is my story, please listen; here I am, please tell me your story," says the library. Susan Orlean weaves an amazing tale for us centered around the tragic library fire that devastated the Central LA Branch in 1986.

In this book, the story begins with a depiction of the fire itself then backtracks to tell the story of the LA library system and its many iconic leaders. In between we get updates on the investigation into the fire as well as chapters on the many ways a library is so much more than a storehouse for books.
All of us who love libraries will be uplifted by this love letter to libraries and the way they transcend the mere buildings and physical objects within. Highly recommended!

LPL_DirectorBrad Sep 11, 2018

This book took me back to my days working at Los Angeles Public Library. What starts out as an investigation into whether the massive 1986 fire at the Central Library was arson, Orlean takes that initial story and branches out into multiple stories about LAPL--the fire and the psychological damage it wrought, the relatively fascinating history of LAPL itself, and finally an examination of the current work being done in public libraries at present. The hopping back and forth by chapter works quite well.

As a public librarian, it is humbling and encouraging to see a writer who didn't really know what goes on in modern public libraries become fascinated in our work and tell the story of how crucial public libraries are to what Eric Klinenberg calls the 'social infrastructure' of our communities.

Thank you, Susan Orlean, for this beautiful homage the place I cut my teeth at a reference desk, Los Angeles Public Library! Great reporting and a great thought piece about the role of public libraries in our modern world.

NicoleA_Oshlib Jun 09, 2018

I received an advance reading copy of this book and am enthralled at Orlean's excellent writing, vivid descriptions and meticulous research into the circumstances surrounding the tragic fire at the Los Angeles Central Library in 1986. it is a love letter to all libraries and it is a true crime novel where the victims were hundreds of thousands of books and irreplaceable historical records.

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