Hollywood Librarian – 2 June 2008

In this case, the title didn’t say it all. It wasn’t about a librarian working in Hollywood. If you were expecting a life story of someone at Universal Studios looking after the scripts, you’d be wrong.

The film, directed by Ann Seidl, was a concoction of film footage depicting libraries and librarians, interspersed with public librarians giving a rosy picture and saying how much they loved their jobs!

I felt there were too many film clips – in fact anything that had a librarian in it! There was great emphasis on the public and school library but hardly any mention of academic or corporate librarians, except for one enthusiastic Head Librarian from Hewlett Packard.

One of the most inspiring moments was a prison inmate who spoke of being saved by a public library project which had helped him with his reading and literacy skills.

The political aspect of libraries was touched upon when the film mentioned the bombing of the Iraq National Library, which led to indiscriminate and mercenary looting of library resources and museum objects. This is a sacrilege as most of this is likely never to be recovered.

The theme of budget cuts and fund raising was covered at length using the threatened closure of Salinas public library (CA) in the US as a case study. It was positive to see how community spirit can prove stronger than the powers-that-be and the locals triumphed in their fight to keep their library open!

The film did not miss out on the opportunity to make a political statement comparing the $250 million dollars the US Government spends on all types of library with the equivalent spending in Iraq and Afghanistan every day!

All in all, an enjoyable film, with a few reasons to raise a laugh. However, I felt that the film could have been put together better.

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One Response to “Hollywood Librarian – 2 June 2008”

  1. Katharine Says:

    This is something I would like to see, there has been a lot of discussion about it and it sounds well worth the watch even if a lot of comments have been a bit “could have done better” about it.

    I’ll look for out for a local screening and hope I’m not too late.

    Thanks for posting this.

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