The Library Book: A Conversation with author Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean will appear at the Burlingame Public Library on Sunday, November 3rd to discuss her most recent publication, The Library Book. This national bestseller is an exploration of the power of libraries as told through Orlean’s quest to solve the mysterious act of arson that nearly destroyed the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986. The Library Book was named one of The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018. She will be in conversation with California State Librarian, Greg Lucas.


Tickets will only be available online. A limited number of VIP tickets at $95 will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 7th, and general admission tickets at $35 will be offered at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 14th. VIP tickets include admission to a private reception with Susan Orlean and Greg Lucas at 5 p.m., a copy of The Library Book and reserved seating. General admission tickets are for the presentation at 6 p.m. (doors open for general admission at 5:45).

Susan Orlean has been a contributor for The New Yorker for more than 20 years. Her ten books include The Orchid Thief, which inspired Spike Jonze’s movie Adaptation, and Rin Tin Tin, a biography of the famous film dog. The Library Book received nominations for the Andrew Carnegie Nonfiction Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and won the California Book Award for best nonfiction. She is adapting the book for a forthcoming television series for Paramount TV.


Greg Lucas serves as California’s 25th State Librarian. Appointed in May 2014, he was previously the bureau chief for the San Francisco Chronicle and covered politics and policy at the State Capitol for nearly 20 years. The State Library – California’s version of the Library of Congress – invests $10 million annually in local libraries to develop innovative and efficient ways to serve communities, including investment to improve high-speed internet access and goal of library cards in the hands of every school-age child in the state. Greg has degrees from Stanford University (B.A. communications), USC (M.A. professional writing) and recently attained his Masters in Information Science from San Jose State University.

This is the third event in the 2019-2020 Burlingame Library Foundation’s Speaker Series, which supports free programs for all ages, new technology and other enhancements to Burlingame’s two libraries.

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About the Burlingame Library Foundation Founded in 1995, the Burlingame Library Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to augment the services provided by Burlingame’s main library and Easton branch library. Funds support collection enhancement, community access to current technology, programs for all ages, and improvement and preservation of the historic library buildings and their interiors. The Foundation’s Speaker Series, which started in 2018, features innovators, experts and original voices in the arts, current affairs, science and technology. The Speakers Series is the primary fundraising program for the Foundation. For more information, visit

Upcoming 2019-2020 Speaker Series Events: Jan 26, 2020 - Kim Sajet, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.