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The Library Book posted by Robyn

The Library Book by Susan Orlean is a fascinating and page-turning account of the massive burning of Los Angeles Public Library in April of 1986, the largest library fire in American history.  The library was open at the time, and the staff and patrons who were in it were soon to discover that this was not the usual fire alarm.  The fire in the stacks was explosive and out of control, despite firefighter efforts.  It reached 2000 degrees and burned for over 7 hours, which resulted in loss or damage to over one million books.  The cause of the fire was never determined, yet there were speculations of arson.  Several years later Orlean did extensive research, interviewing library employees and family members of the suspected arsonist – a young aspiring actor named Harry Peak.  Orlean is knowledgeable about the inner workings of the public library, and writes about the history and evolution of LAPL.  This title is also available in audio.  Her love of books and reading is obvious in the pages she writes – this book is a true love letter to public libraries everywhere, and a title worth mentioning for National Library Week!

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