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The Library Book


Susan Orlean

In conversation with author Attica Locke

Join us for a special program on the 25th anniversary of the reopening of the Los Angeles Central Library that brings home the inspiring story of how Central Library rose from the ashes after the catastrophic fire of April 29, 1986. In a new book by New Yorker staff writer and author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief, Susan Orlean offers a profoundly moving cultural history of the Los Angeles Public Library and its critical civic role since its inception in 1872. Reexamining the unsolved mystery of the biggest library fire in American history that destroyed or damaged more than one million books, Orlean investigates if someone purposefully set fire to the Library—and if so, who? Through this behind-the-scenes look at the Los Angeles Public Library system, Orlean weaves her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating legacy of libraries across the world. In a conversation with author and Library Foundation Board Member Attica Locke and a surprise librarian guest, Orleans shares from The Library Book—a testament to the importance of all libraries and an homage to a beloved institution that remains a vital part of the heart, mind, and soul of our community today.