Mayor's Book Club

The Mayor’s Book Club is an annual citywide reading campaign that provides a community experience through reading and discussion of shared books. The program’s goal is to deepen our collective appreciation of literature, to increase the visibility of the Austin Public Library, and to promote the Library’s value to the entire community.

Each year, we select a book (or books), and invite all of Austin to read with us and join us for a series of programs that explore the book’s themes, questions, and foundations.

We hope all of Austin will join us in reading this year's Mayor's Book Club selection:
The Library Book by Susan Orlean

It's a beautifully written testament to our favorite institution -- the public library. We fell in love with this accomplished work of nonfiction the moment we beheld its sturdy red cover with shimmering gold letters.

The pages inside are equally stunning and memorable. The book begins with a specific story about a mysterious arson in the L.A. Library in the 1980s. But what follows is an insightful, spiraling, witty, and tender treatise on the importance of libraries, how they help us grow and evolve, and how they function as society's great equalizer.

We invite all of Austin to join us for a season of reading, conversation, storytelling, and inquiry around this marvelous book. This year's programs include an author appearance by Susan Orlean, a presentation on the history of the Austin Public Library, and an invitation to submit your own Library Love Story, which may be selected to air on KUT 90.5!

Mayor's Book Club Programs

Austin Public Library Time Travel

Tuesday, October 8, 6-8pm
Faulk Library

A fun, funky presentation on the history of the Austin Public Library system. Hear from former librarians and those who helped steer the library through the past, toward its exciting, dynamic present.

An Afternoon in the Library with Susan Orlean

Saturday, November 9, 1-3pm
Austin Central Library

Susan Orlean discusses The Library Book with Texas Literary Hall of Fame honoree (and library hologram) Sarah Bird.

Library Love Stories

Has the library changed your life? Opened new doors? Ignited new passions?

We want to hear your Library Love Story!

It's easy to submit and all ages are welcome. Selected stories will air on KUT 90.5 or appear in future Mayor's Book Club programs. Stories will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and we encourage everyone to submit as early as possible. Submissions will close on Tuesday, August 20. You will be contacted if your story is selected.

Library Love Story Writing Workshops

If you'd like extra guidance and inspiration as you craft your Library Love Story, join us for a creative writing workshop before you submit! All workshops are free.

Monday, May 20, 6-8pm
Cepeda Branch
RSVP

Saturday, June 1, 10am-12pm
Carver Branch
RSVP

Monday, July 8, 6-8pm
Old Quarry Branch
RSVP

Saturday, July 13, 10am-12pm
Spicewood Springs Branch
RSVP

Wednesday, July 31, 6-8pm
Twin Oaks Branch
RSVP

Tuesday, August 13, 6-8pm
Ruiz Branch
RSVP

Thank You to Our Sponsor

About Libraries: Writing, Film, Podcasts & More

Books for Adults

Digital Libraries by William Y. Arms
Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles
American Libraries by Kenneth Breisch
The Library: A World History by James W. P. Campbell
The Archivist by Martha Cooley
The Geographer's Library by John Fasman
The Library: A Novel by Joyce Fay Fletcher
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern
The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton
The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne
The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy
Libraries by Candida Höfer
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson
The Ladies' Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer
The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders by Stuart Kells
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World by Guillaume de Laubier
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
The Library: An Illustrated History by Stuart Murray
Dewey: A Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose
Running the Books by Avi Sternberg
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Children's Books

Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
No T. Rex in the Library by Toni Buzzeo
The Library Book by Tom Chapin
Bob the Alien Discovers the Dewey Decimal System by Sandra Donovan
Chicken Story Time by Mark Fearing
Manners in the Library by Carrie Finn
Wolves by Emily Gravett
Library Mouse: A Friend's Tale by Daniel Kirk
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Bats at the Library by Brian Lies
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn
The Library by Julie Murray
The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah OHora
If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't! by Elisa Parsley
Wild About Books by Judy Sierra
The Library by Sarah Stewart
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessor by Joyce William
The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter

Middle-Grade & Young Adult Books

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Into the Lion's Den by Linda Fairstein
Escape from Mr. Leoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck
The Dragon in the Library by Kate Klimo
The Story Collector: A New York Public Library Book by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Property of the Rebel Librarian by Allison Varnes
The Deserted Library Mystery (The Boxcar Children) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler

Films

Storm Center (1956)
My Fair Lady (1964)
Libraries (2014)
Ex Libris (2018)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Party Girl (1995)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Miranda (2002)
National Treasure (2004)

Music

"Karen" by The Go-Betweens (1999)
"Young Adult Friction" by The Pains of Being Young at Heart (2009)
"Library Rap" by MC Poindexter and the Study Crew
"Lost in the Library" by Saint Etienne (1999)
"Thee Ecstatic Library" by Comet Gain (2011)
"At the Library" by Green Day (1990)
"French Navy" by Camera Obscura (2009)
"Swinging London" by The Magnetic Fields (1994)
"Library Card" by Frank Zappa (1999)
"Lisa Librarian" by Velocity Girl (1993)

Poems

Branch Library by Edward Hirsch (2003)
The Crybaby at the Library by Caroline Knox (1979)
The Library by John Logan (1979)
Library by Eve Merriam (1942)
In the Bodleian Library by Philip Parker (1937)
[lady in brown] "de library waz right down from de trolly tracks" by Ntozake Shange (1975)
The Library by Timothy Steele (1983)

Podcasts

The Room of Requirement from This American Life
Dewey Decibel Podcast from American Libraries
The Librarian Is In from New York Public Library
FYI: The Public Libraries Podcast
"Libraries" from The Complete Guide to Everything Podcast
Library Talks from New York Public Library
ALOUD Podcast from Los Angeles Public Library

Did we miss something?

Let us know if we overlooked a great film, TV show,
album, song, book, or podcast about libraries!

Email us at csailer@austinlibrary.org.