The feeling of hopelessness from the tragedy of the Central Library fire can be assuaged by several things:
--The wonderful work of the Los Angeles Fire Department--the finest in the world--which aided in the saving of 80% of the library's collection.
--The librarians--from Central Library and from the branches--who worked around the clock in the salvage effort.
--The 1,500 volunteers who came out and showed that they care about the records of a civilization.
--And, the media, including The Times, who kept the public aware of events as they unfolded.