The Library of The Library Book

Keith Kesler, Social Media Librarian, Public Relations Department,
Susan Orlean holding the Library Book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean has introduced our downtown gem to a whole new audience. For those of you who 310 pages on Central Library isn’t enough, check out resources and information to help you go beyond The Library Book.


To celebrate the launch of The Library Book we posted a picture for each chapter of the book.

page from instagram showing Susan Orleans book

Saving Central Library - Remembering the Fire and Recovery

October 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the LA Central Library reopening after a catastrophic fire in 1986. Three people who were there share their memories of the fire and the effort to recover and rebuild.

Check out this playlist for more videos related to the Central Library Reopening.

Docent Tours

Come downtown and visit the setting of The Library Book. Docents offer free daily walk-in tours but you can also make an appointment for a larger group.

docents pointing at the library's rotunda ceiling

Feels Like Home

Feels Like Home: Reflections on the Central Library chronicles the history of our great building from its earliest time in reading rooms across the city all the way to the fire in 1986 and the subsequent rebuilding and reopening of what is now one of the greatest libraries in the nation and certainly one of our city's great prides.

feels like home book displayed in front of the old card catalog

Central History Pages

Our own website contains a good deal of information about the art and architecture and background of Central Library.

Chandelier on the ceiling of the Rotunda

Historical Images of Central Library

Tessa, our digital collection archive, contains many architectural drawings and historical photos of Central Library from the planning phase in the 1920s to the reopening in 1993.

early drawing of the central library

Central 25 Blog Posts

To celebrate 25 anniversary of the Central Library reopening, we gathered together the best blog posts about Central Library.

The Great Library War of 1905

The Library Book touches on the lineage of City Librarians from Mary Foy on.

The four part blog post series, The Great Library War of 1905 takes a deep dive into the 1905 firing of Mary L. Jones as Los Angeles City Librarian. It reveals the sexism that influenced the library’s Board of Directors and shaped their decision to actively place a man, Charles Fletcher Lummis, at the head of the Los Angeles Public Library; their decision would set off a firestorm across the city.

 Mary L. Jones as Los Angeles City Librarian newspaper article