The St. Johns County Public Library System is excited to announce that Susan Orlean’s The Library Book is the title for St. Johns Reads 2021. Along with the new title, the Library System has decided to move events up a month—St. Johns Reads will now be a January event in coming years.

Many may know Susan Orlean from her New York Times bestseller The Orchid Thief. With The Library Book, Orlean tells the story of the 1986 Los Angeles Library fire, which shut down the L.A. Central Library for nearly seven years. This event would have made national headlines if it had not happened the same week as the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster in Ukraine. Typical of Orlean’s other works, The Library Book is populated with interesting real-life characters and intrigue, as she details the investigation into the cause of the fire, the recovery process, and the building restoration. Along the way, we learn about the particularly interesting people who populate the library, where Hollywood and librarians intersect.  What starts out as a look at a single event turns into a love letter to the public library.

This is the 16th year that the Library System has hosted St. Johns Reads. A variety of virtual programs inspired by the chosen book will be offered by staff throughout the month of January 2021, including food and art programs, interviews and tours, and much more.

This year we will once again host a St. Johns Reads 5k Race as the big finale for our month of events. The second annual Lace Up for Libraries Run will take place in Nocatee on the morning of Saturday, January 30th. Participants will help raise funds for programming and author visits for future St. Johns Reads events. To learn more about this 5k event, including the virtual participation option, go to the Lace Up for Libraries event page at https://laceupforlibraries5k.itsyourrace.com.

Another extra way to participate in this year’s St. Johns Reads is by way of the Library System’s ReadSquared App. Introduced during 2020’s Summer Reading Program, ReadSquared is a fun way to track your reading and earn virtual rewards. To read The Library Book, get information about the ReadSquared App, or discover more about St. Johns Reads 2021, contact your local library or visit our website at www.sjcpls.org.

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