September 18, 2021

Welcome to Thorndale, Book 4

From the publisher:

Can the magic of Christmas and the

June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way.

Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.

Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer’s feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won’t believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.

To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she’s determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.

Good Morning America Buzz Pick
A Library Reads Pick

This book is a love letter to libraries and librarians; no wonder it made the Library Reads top picks! Let me add my voice to the chorus.

If you like charming English villages with quirky characters, then this is your book. If you love libraries, then this is your book. If you like a fairy tale, then this is your book. It certainly was mine.

June’s mom was the head librarian at their little village library for most of June’s life. June started working there right out of school when her mother became ill. June’s father has never been in the picture, and she is extremely close to her mother and nursed her through cancer until she lost her. June has been dealing with her grief by staying in the same house, not changing a thing, and only leaving for work or if she’s absolutely forced to. When the town council announces that they have had budget cuts and are looking at possibly closing six area libraries, including June’s, the town goes into revolt. The politics aren’t good -June’s job is threatened if she conspires with the town folk who are trying to save the library, so she goes undercover. But then she outs herself and decides it is too important to hide.

There is a lot of humor here, along a touch of romance. I loved that this is a look at the importance of libraries in a community, beyond the bookshelves. I loved this book and wish everyone would read it!

9/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE LAST CHANCE LIBRARY by Freya Sampson. Berkley (August 31, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593201381. 336 pages.







THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean

April 5, 2019

Click to purchase

From the publisher:



“A constant pleasure to read…Everybody who loves books should check out The Library Book.” —The Washington Post


A dazzling love letter to a beloved institution—and an investigation into one of its greatest mysteries—from the bestselling author hailed as a “national treasure” by The Washington Post.

On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.

Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.

This is a book beloved by librarians, to no one’s great surprise. On the other hand, I didn’t love it. Yes, it is an interesting story but I was not a fan of the writing. The book jumps all over the place, not moving back in forth in time but back, forth, sideways, back, forward, back, sideways, etc. It was dizzying at time. Why am I reading about this library director, I read about her several chapters ago. Now here is more info on another library director. I found it hard to get into this book and if my book group hadn’t picked it, forcing me to finish it, it would have been in my did-not-finish-and-certainly-not-reviewed pile. Yet here I am.

I started this book a few months before it came out. I put it down and picked it up several times, usually after reading a good review somewhere. But honestly, I don’t think a book written about librarians and libraries is ever going to get a bad review, at least not from the librarians who review for the journals like Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. On the other hand, I don’t have any restrictions.

It wasn’t a horrible book; the story was interesting, at least from what I could piece together. I read it over many months so I admit to forgetting some stuff as I went along. But I didn’t care enough to go back and reread any of it. I love libraries and usually like reading about them. I missed the story about this fire to begin with, as did most people as it happened the same day as Chernobyl, which pretty much guaranteed it would be a non-story. What Orlean does is take the story of the fire and interweave it with the history of the library, going back a few hundred years. But it was just too jumpy for me, I would have preferred a chronological telling leading up to the fire and beyond. I didn’t get that. For what it’s worth, I didn’t care for Orlean’s bestselling The Orchid Thief, either, and never finished reading it. And that book was also beloved and was even made into a very strange movie called Adaptation.

4/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean. Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (October 16, 2018). ISBN 978-1476740188. 336p.



SEFLIN Virtual Conference – User Experience

August 27, 2014



Find out more and register for User Experience: Seeing Your Library Through the User’s Eyes at:

September 19, 2014, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (Eastern Time, US and Canada) 

Conference sessions and presenters include:

·         The Future of UX in Libraries: Learning Everywhere
Michael Stephens  (Assistant Professor, San Jose State University)

·         Improving Your Library with User Experience Design
Aaron Schmidt  (Principle at Influx Library User Experience Consulting)

·         Practical UX Research Tips for Librarians
Kathryn Whitenton  (User Experience Specialist at The Nielsen Norman Group)

·         Designing Your Spaces, Services, and Organization Around Your Users
Elliot Felix  (Founder and Director of BrightSpot Strategy)

·         Make Your Website UX Rock
David Lee King  (Digital Services Director, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library)

Library Directors and Leaders: This conference is a cost-effective and highly relevant educational opportunity for anyone in the library field. Register as a group so your entire staff can attend sessions that fit their schedules. Forward this announcement to your staff and colleagues. 

Recordings of the conference sessions will be available after the conference to all registered attendees.

The registration fee is $40 for individuals and $125 for groups.

There is no registration charge for library staff working in the State of Florida.

Seats are limited, so register ASAP.

Find out more and register at:

Produced by:




Southeast Florida Library Information Network
777 Glades Road
Office 452, Wimberly Library
Boca Raton, FL 33431
ph: 561-208-0984
fax: 561-208-0995