The Hollywood Librarian

Waiting on the red carpet at ALA I went to the ALA premiere of The Hollywood Librarian on Friday night. I was surprised to find people lining up an hour and half before the red carpet walk was suppose to begin. I had a very good seat in the front behind one of the VIP sections. 

I was expecting the documentary to be more about how Hollywood depicts librarians compared to how our jobs actually happen in the real world. I had this impression after reading the about the film page prior to going to Annual.

In a sense, my expectation was met. However, the flow of the film seemed to change somewhere in the middle to be more about how the public doesn't want to fund public libraries anymore. This may not have been the filmmakers original intent, but that was my take away by seeing so much of the film focused on the financial problems experienced in Salinas.

The film did a good job of trying to represent all library types, but it would have been nice to have included more K-12 and academic libraries/librarians. I realize that most non-librarians have a greater affinity with their public library. Still, it would have been a good place to make the K-12, public, academic library connection. This becomes even more important in state's where all library types pool money to provide electronic resources to all library populations, (e.g. Libraries Connect Ohio). This takes place behind the scenes and most people don't realize it.

Ann Seidl and librarians appearing in the Hollywood Librarian I'm also not on-board with Ann's plan to get the movie out to the masses. She wants libraries to agree to show the movie twice during Banned Book Week and to charge admission. I wouldn't mind asking for a donation, but I wouldn't expect college students to pay to see the movie on campus and neither would they since they don't pay for any other similar event on our campus. 

I would recommend reading posts written by Karen Schneider, Andrea Mercado, and Rochelle Harman on the premiere and the proposed marketing plan. I did enjoy the film, but I'm not sure it's ready for prime-time.

technorati tag: Annual2007

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