The Library Book
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.
Why do programs fill so quickly?
ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.
Where does ALOUD take place?
Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.
- Where should I park for ALOUD programs?
Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?
We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.