Thursday, 1 May 2008

Hollywood Librarian comes to Sheffield


SINTO has organised a screening of The Hollywood Librarian for Thursday 19th June at 6.15pm


The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Film is the first full-length documentary film to focus on the work and lives of librarians. Using the entertaining and appealing context of American movies, the film contains hundreds of examples of librarians and libraries on screen -- some positive, some negative, some laughable and some dead wrong. Films such as Sophie's Choice, Philadelphia and It's a Wonderful Life show librarians as negative stereotypes. The librarians in Lorenzo's Oil, Desk Set and The Shawshank Redemption, on the other hand, are competent and professional. Dozens of interviews of real librarians are interwoven with movie clips of cinematic librarians and serve as transitions between the themes of censorship, intellectual freedom, children and librarians, pay equity and funding issues, and the value of reading.

The Hollywood Librarian is a unique and charming blend of film clips, humour and critical analysis of the popular image of librarians. It creates a new-found empathy for the profession by revealing the diversity of individual librarians and the importance of what they do.


The screening will take place in the Pennine lecture theatre at Sheffield Hallam University. Doors open at 6pm. Admission will be by ticket only. There is no charge but we are asking for a donation of about £5. Some of the proceeds will go to the film's director Ann Seidl, who has not charged for screenings but is collecting money to fund a DVD release. The remainder will go to SINTO to cover our costs and to the Library Campaign charity.


This should be an entertaining and inspiring event for library staff but I also hope that libraries will take the opportunity of inviting "friends of libraries" - and those who should be a bit more friendly towards libraries.

1 comment:

Margaret-Mary O'Mahony said...

I can't wait to see this film!

You may also be interested in this recent article Old Maids, Policeman, and Social Rejects which looks at the relationships between mass media representations of librarians and users’ perceptions and consequent use of librarians and libraries.