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The Hollywood Librarian

A Look at Librarians Through Film

The Hollywood Librarian

Duration: 96 min
ISBN: 1-932869-31-X
Date Produced: 2007
Subtitles: English, Spanish, and French

Filmmaker Info
Transcript
Press Room
Film Festivals
Related Links
Press Reviews
Praise for the Film




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The Hollywood Librarian
A Look at Librarians Through Film

An Overdue Productions Film

They have more cardholders than VISA, more customers than Amazon, and more outlets than McDonald's. Meet America's librarians. The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians Through Film is the first comprehensive treatment of the subject of librarians. A vivid blend of factual documentary, feature film, and storytelling, it reveals the history and realities of librarianship in the entertaining and appealing context of American movies. Interviews with actual librarians, intercut with film clips of cinematic librarians, examine such issues as literature, books and reading, censorship, library funding, citizenship and democracy. For the first time, we see and understand the real lives and real work of American librarians who for decades have been a cultural force hiding in plain sight.

This film's subject is librarians: who they are, what they do, why they do it, and the impact of their work in people's lives. The underlying meaning is how we express our own humanity, how we listen to ourselves and one another in the realm of the written and read word -- a uniquely human privilege.

Audiences will be surprised and delighted by the fascinating librarians in this entertaining and enlightening film, and will emerge with a greater appreciation for the range of literature and materials available to them thanks to our nation's librarians.

DVD contains 30 minutes of bonus materials, including a Book Cart Drill Team featurette.

Filmmaker Info

Producer/Writer/Director: Ann Seidl
Executive Producer: Lynne Martin Erickson
Cinematographer: Aaron Harris
Location Sound & Re-recordist: Pete Winter
Editorial Consultant: Juliana Parroni
Associate Producer: Mary Clare McKesson
Original Score: David J. Murphy & Nestor Torres
Additional Cinematography: Barbara Jabaily

Film Festivals

Oxford International Film Festival 2008
DC Labor Film Fest 2007

Screenings

Arkansas Library Association Conference, September 9 - 11, 2007
Vancouver, British Columbia's Rio Theater, November 3, 2007
Ireland's Health Sciences Libraries Group Conference, February 20 - 21, 2008
New England Library Association Conference, October 19 - 21, 2008
Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference, November 9 - 12, 2008
West Virginia Library Association Annual Conference, September 30 - October 2, 2009
South Dakota Library Association Annual Conference, October 7 - 9, 2009
Nevada Library Association Annual Conference, October 7 - 10, 2009
Mississippi Library Association Annual Conference, October 20 - 23, 2009
Alabama Library Association Annual Conference, April 13 - 16, 2010
Black Caucus of the American Library Association Annual Conference, August 4-8, 2010
North Dakota Library Association Annual Conference, September 29 - October 1, 2010
Georgia Council of Media Organizations Annual Conference, October 12 - 15, 2010
Virginia Library Association Conference, October 21 - 22, 2010
South Carolina Library Association Annual Convention, October 28 - 30, 2010
North Carolina School Library Media Association, November 3 - 5, 2010

Awards

Winner of the Ontario Library Association Media and Communications Award, 2009

For additional resources and information, visit the film's website: www.hollywoodlibrarian.com

Press Reviews

FILM SCRATCHES
Film International | Liza Palmer | Fall 2008

LIBRARIANS DON'T OFTEN GET THE CREDIT THEY DESERVE
Kansas City Star | Lewis Diuguid | January 29, 2008

LIBRARIANS HAVE THEIR DAY IN FILM
Wisconsin State Journal | Gayle Worland | October 4, 2007

HOLLYWOOD LIBRARIAN COMING TO WILLIAMSPORT
Williamsport Sun-Gazette | October 4, 2007

BANNING BOOKS? BAD NEWS
The Mustang Daily | Brooke Robertson | October 3 2007

REAL LIVES OF LIBRARIANS REVEALED ON BIG SCREEN
Broomfield Enterprise | Danielle Holmes | September 30, 2007

SOUTHWEST VALLEY LIBRARIES JOIN IN BANNED BOOKS WEEK
Arizona Republic | Annemarie Moody | September 29, 2007

WARREN LIBRARY GOES HOLLYWOOD
American Journal | Gordon Lane | September 27, 2007

GOSCREEN: THE HOLLYWOOD LIBRARIAN
The University of Colorado-Denver Advocate | Lydia Orth | September 26, 2007

FILM LOOKS AT LIBRARIANS AS SEEN THROUGH HOLLYWOOD'S SOMETIMES UNFAIR EYES
UIUC News Bureau | Andrea Lynn | September 26, 2007

SSSSHHHHH! DOCUMENTARY FOCUSES ON LIBRARIANS IN FILMS, AND MAKES THE CASE FOR LIBRARIES AS THE SEAT OF CIVILIZATION
Racine Journal Times | David Steinkraus | September 23, 2007

FILM SLAMS THE BOOK ON SILLY LIBRARIAN STEREOTYPES
Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette | Frank Gray | September 23, 2007

T-TOWN LIBRARIAN SHOWS UP ON BIG SCREEN
Wyoming County Press Examiner | Josh Mrozinski | June 27, 2007

THE MODERN LIBRARIAN: A ROLE WORTH CHECKING OUT
The Washington Post | Monica Hesse | June 24, 2007

HOLLYWOOD LIBRARIAN VS. REAL THING
American Libraries | Leonard Kniffel | June July 2005

ON FILM, BEYOND THE BUN
Library Journal | April 1, 2005

LIBRARIAN ON MISSION TO DISPEL THE STEREOTYPE
Chicago Daily Herald | Sarah Long | July 26, 2004

JOB MARKET IS LOOKING UP FOR LIBRARIANS
Peoria Journal-Star | Steve Tarter | July 2003

Interviews

INTERLOCHEN PUBLIC RADIO
April 11, 2008

THE DAVE FANNING SHOW - RTE RADIO
February 28, 2008

THE KATHLEEN DUNN SHOW - WISCONSIN PUBLIC RADIO
September 27, 2007

NORFOLK NPR AFFILIATE WHRV-FM
August 21, 2007

SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
December 27, 2006

PUBLIC LIBRARIES
Mar/Apr 2003 Issue

Praise for the Film

"Don't judge this film by its title alone. The Hollywood Librarian is so much more than a campaign to disprove movie stereotypes of librarians. It is a wonderful history lesson on the origin of public libraries. Seidl pays special tribute to Andrew Carnegie, the immigrant and steel magnate whose philanthropy launched America's free library system. It is also a vivid reminder that some of our earliest and most important connections to reading and learning start in libraries. Seidl sheds light on the amazing work of school librarians and those who lead special children's programs. She also shows that without libraries, our culture would have missed out on the creative genius of authors John Steinbeck and Ray Bradbury. It is a testament to the life-changing contributions libraries make to the powerless in society. Moving accounts of literacy programs for the homeless, poor immigrants, and prisoners make Seidl's point exceptionally well... Throughout, Seidl draws viewers into her message with clips from classic Hollywood films. Some disparage librarianship (It's a Wonderful Life and Music Man), while others venerate the profession (Desk Set and Goodbye,Columbus). Seidl also uses movies to underscore the role libraries play in democracy (Fahrenheit 451 and Storm Center). Highly recommended for library and information science programs, The Hollywood Librarian is also an excellent professional development tool for librarians, school administrators, and public officials."
- Educational Media Reviews Online

"A deft weaving... a hopeful elegy ...a well-reasoned, eloquent, and enjoyable argument for the continued importance of libraries in the modern democracy..."
- Film International Magazine

"Entertaining, uplifting and educational, it's everything a good documentary should be."
- The Edmonton Journal

"Anything but boring."
- The Tallahassee Democrat

"What this movie is really about is the survival of civilization."
- Racine Journal Times

"A stirring tribute. Recommended."
- Video Librarian

"It is well done, a documentary both thoughtful and thought-provoking. [Director Annie] Seidl combines film clips of reel librarians and libraries with interviews of real librarians and library supporters and authors, including Ray Bradbury (who wrote Fahrenheit 451, a book about book burning, in a library). Much of what the librarians have to say is meaningful and should be heard by a larger audience. It is an intriguing idea, literally juxtaposing reel and real librarians and issues affecting our profession. Bottom line, I do believe media portrayals, fictional or not, of my chosen profession matter. And this documentary, in the end, also matters."
- Reel Librarians

"A touching, amusing, insightful and entirely delightful film."
- Vartan Gregorian, Carnegie Corporation of New York

"Brilliant! I had no idea it would be so moving."
- Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home, Time Magazine's Best Book of 2006

Librarian Testimonials

"The Hollywood Librarian will make librarians very proud but more importantly it is destined to set the record straight about the true nature of librarianship. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone could see it? It could change the world!"
- Mrs. Jet Kofoot, Algona (IA) Public Library

"I can't tell you how much your movie The Hollywood Librarian spoke straight from my heart. It is everything I have been feeling, fighting for and working towards for the last 25 years."
- Denise Smith, Stanton County (KS) Public Library

"Showing The Hollywood Librarian was a great outreach and fundraising opportunity for our library. Thanks to the production company, it was easy to organize the event, even for a very small library like us. The documentary really proved to be an eye-opener for the general public while the "library people" enjoyed the validation."
- Catherine Lavallee-Welch, University of South Florida

"This is a film you don't want to miss. I stayed in the rear of my library and listened and watched the attendees as they laughed, grew serious, shed tears, and remained completely engaged by this film. For days afterward, thank you notes streamed into my inbox from the participants."
- Charlotte Ballard, Wells Middle School, Houston

"A fresh, thought-provoking discussion of librarians and librarianship suitable for a wide variety of viewers".
- Consortium for Media Literacy

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