Sunday, June 24, 2007

Hollywood Librarian

Friday night was the world premiere of the Hollywood Librarian here in Washington, D.C. They rolled out the red carpet for us librarians, and some of us entered with style (read: did everything we could to get our photo taken). I did OK- its not everyday that an Okie librarian gets his photo and quote in the Washington Post style section. I should have, however, made them agree to mention my blog URL. Next time.

Once I got beyond the flashbulbs of the red carpet, I settled in for the movie. It was all documentary, and its good that Ms. Seidl chose librarians as her inaugural audience. At 100 minutes long, it will be a hard sell to regular audiences. To be marketable to non-librarians, it would need to be cut in half (ie, take out everything but the old movie clips).

Saturday morning there was a discussion panel that noted the movie playing on the library 'victimization' model: "woe is us because look at how others perceive us and gosh we don't have nearly as much money spent on us as we do on military operations around the world." My theory is that until we assert ourselves we will not reach our full potential with regards to funding and respect. We need to practice proactive librarianship and have the ear of key community leaders well before any shutdown occurs. Along those lines, maybe library school needs to include more emphasis on negotiation and proactive marketing (case studies on successful bond measures could be a place to start).

The movie spent a solid 15 minutes on the story of the Salinas Library system quagmire. Ok, what did we learn? Be more proactive and get out the word that the library needs continued support. Next slide, please-let's move on and not dwell on it.

One cool thing that I learned about was the San Quinton State Prison/Marin Literacy program that provided prisoners with the chance to learn how to read.

Other than that, the most relevant parts of the movie were the library-related movie clips and citations:

City of Angels
Cleopatra (twice)
Twilight Zone
Plaza Suite
Big Bully
Goodbye, Columbus
It's a Wonderful Life
Party Girl (thrice)
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Dangerous Minds
Pat and Mike
Desk Set (twice)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Goodbye Columbus
Librarian: Quest of the Spear
Music Man
Station Agent
No Man of Her Own
Love Story
Storm Center (twice)
Time Machine
Battlefield Earth
Soylent Green
Cesar and Cleopatra
Fahrenheit 451

At the end of the film Ms. Seidl mentioned that we could all pick up a free copy of the film in the exhibit hall if we agreed to two things. First, we had to show it in our communities during Banned Books Week, September 29- Oct 6, 2007. Second, we have to charge admission- $8 for adults and I don't recall how much for children. The proceeds would be split among the hosting library, Ms. Seidl, and a third entity that I do not recall. Jury is still out on how many libraries will actually show the film in their town. I agree about charging money so people will respect what they see, though.

1 comment:

Sixkiller librarian said...

I'm also an Okie librarian! Good for you for viewing this film. However, I thought it was a full-length film that was generating enough buzz to get played in the theatre, and not a film librarians would enjoy. That's disappointing!