AALL GATEWAY

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Hollywood Librarian


“Librarians are almost always very helpful and often almost absurdly knowledgeable. Their skills are probably very underestimated and largely underemployed. “— the Social Audit Consumer Handbook, Macmillan, 1978, p. 41
Charles MEDAWAR

As Librarians, we have few heroes to look to on the silver screen. Instead of being depicted as advocates for free speech, expeditors of information, and the guardians of our history and culture, we’re most often shown as ill-tempered, sensible shoe-wearing gatekeepers whose greatest pleasure comes from silencing people with a resounding “shhhhh.” It would be great, wouldn’t it, if the world could see librarians for what we really are and the true importance of our work? Luckily, you now have the opportunity to help make that dream a reality.

Over the past three years, librarian and information consultant, Ann Seidl, has been working on The Hollywood Librarian, a thoughtful, entertaining, and enlightening documentary that focuses on the lives and work of librarians in the context of the highly influential medium of American feature films. Ann has been gathering dozens of interviews with real library professionals and library supporters and movie clips of cinematic librarians, from Katharine Hepburn in Desk Set to Goldie Hawn in Foul Play. Interwoven within the scenes of reality vs. perception are the issues that matter both to librarians and the public: censorship, intellectual freedom, pay equity, funding issues, and the value of reading. The work is nearly done, but we need your help.

To finish the film, we need $150,000 to purchase the rights to film clips and music, and edit the more than 50 hours of footage into the final product. How can you help? You can easily make a donation by sending a check to: The Hollywood Librarian, c/o Bi-Folkal Productions, Inc., 809 Williamson St., Madison, WI 53703, or by going to The Hollywood Librarian website, http://www.hollywoodlibrarian.com/, click on Sponsor the Film, and click on Support the Documentary. Any amount is appreciated and if you need more convincing just check out some of the preliminary footage on The Hollywood Librarian website.

A film like this, if you’ll pardon the pun, is long overdue. Support your fellow librarians, the profession and of course, the librarians that will come after us.
Many thanks. (Posted for Priscilla Stultz)

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