The Library

I just finished the Library by Susan Orlean. I might have to read it again. There are so many tidbits in there that if I had been taught how to annotate properly the book might have been filled up by the time I was done.

It is not only a human story but a historical reference. She begins on researching the fire of the Los Angeles library in April 1986 and the aftermath but it is also history about libraries.

Fun fact, there are more libraries than McDonald’s. When people die in a region in Africa they refer to their death as losing a library. I love this. I closed the book thinking about the evolution and next stage of libraries. I remembered how I used to spend countless hours in the library as a young kid. It was a place to be free, explore, discover and read.

As much as life has changed with social media, the library is still a place for community and of course reading.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Sarah Brown

    Another great one on this topic is Palaces for the People: https://www.penguinrandomho…We oft forget the importance of libraries as social infrastructure and the range of services they provide to the communities around us. Similarly, the benefits of social infrastructure have such a profound ripple effect on everything from crime to health care outcomes to educational attainment. Good to be reminded from time to time 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks. Will check that out. The ripple effect is definitely huge.

    2. TanyaMonteiro

      Incredible, thank you for sharing that documentary, Libraries are about people, love that, will watch it.

  2. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I *love* my local library and go there regularly to work (for the same reason I went to the library in college to study). I don’t know if this is nationwide, but our library has been smart about expanding their role in the community. So it’s much more than just a place to study or borrow media. There are classes, movies, and a ton of great kids stuff.I keep thinking that libraries need to fully add coworking space to their offerings and take a cut of the sales of snacks and beverages by a local vendor. Could be a nice little revenue stream.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Smart idea

  3. denmeade

    I loved The Library Book, so many wonderful characters (particularly the women) and stories (the warning cards inserted in questionable books!). I’m looking forward to hearing Susan Orlean speak at the Sydney Writers Festival in May. Have you seen ‘Ex Libris’? Frederick Wiseman’s excellent documentary about the New York Public Library (… I’ve always been a keen supporter and regular visitor of libraries but seeing that film made me even more committed to the important work they do in communities.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I have not seen the doc. Will put it in the queue

  4. Tom Labus

    The library should and can be a vibrant part of the community. Huge fan of them. If you are ever in Warwick NY go into the library. They won best small town library in US a few years ago.