Bestselling Author Talks About “The Library Book”

Author Susan Orlean speaks at the Burbank Public Library on Thursday, November 1. (Photo By Noak Fecks Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

Author Susan Orlean stops by the Burbank Public Library for a conversation about her latest New York Times non-fiction bestseller The Library Book on Thursday evening, November 1.

Burbank Library Services Director Elizabeth Goldman will sit in conversation with Orlean, who is the author of The Orchid Thief, Rin Tin Tin and Saturday Night.

the library book
Author Susan Orlean speaks at the Burbank Public Library on Thursday, November 1. (Photo By Noak Fecks Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

The Library Book has already been lauded as “exquisitely written, consistently entertaining… A loving tribute not just to a place or an institution but to an idea,” by The New York Times.

The historic Central Library of the L.A. Public Library system was severely damaged from a major fire on April 29, 1986. This is the jumping-off point for Orlean, who then weaves a story of the history of the L.A. Public Library and libraries in general and the communities they serve.

“As a newcomer to L.A. when I started the book, learning the story of the library was also a chance to learn the story of the city – its development and growth and the host of fascinating people who have been drawn to it,” commented Orlean. “It provided me with a deep dive into Southern California history, and ultimately made me fall in love with L.A.”

“There are so many larger-than-life characters who have been part of the library, starting with Charles Lummis, who ran the library for five years and instituted a policy of using a cattle brand to mark books he thought were ‘junk science,’ and all the way to author Ray Bradbury, who couldn’t afford college so he came and read his way through the library instead, and became a lifelong library advocate.”

the library book
The Los Angeles Central Public Library in Downtown L.A. burned on April 29, 1986. (Photo Courtesy L.A. Public Library Collection)

“Susan Orlean has combined the intrigue of an unsolved mystery with a meditation on the role of public libraries in Los Angeles and beyond into a compelling work exploring the deep connections people feel with their libraries,” commented Goldman. “We are honored that she made Burbank a stop on her book tour.”

“Readers will see what she describes reflected in their own branch of the Burbank library – the mix of people, the chance for discovery, the staff who thrive on helping and the sense of community.”

Thursday’s program begins at 7:00 p.m. After the conversation, Orlean will sign books, which will be available for purchase on site. The Buena Vista branch of the Burbank Public Library is located at 300 N. Buena Vista Street in Burbank. Plenty of free parking is available.

Image Courtesy Burbank Public Library.