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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

List: Librarians in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate National Library Week! This year’s chairman is “Coraline” author Neil Gaiman. Visit your public library to take a look at what’s available in books, DVDs, and audio — and to thank your librarian. A special thank you shout-out from me to my favorite librarian, my sister Mary.

And check out some of these movies about libraries and librarians. Here’s my favorite:

  • jestrfyl

    This is an EXHAUSTIVE list!! There was not a single reference that I could think of that was not on the list. As the son of a librarian and the brother of two librarians, I have been especially attentive to the role librarians have played in many movies and TV shows. One of my all time favorite films has been Desk Set – I think it was a movie my mom had all three of us watch, and it influenced each of our career choices (I am the black sheep, the lone non-librarian, but she forgave me for becoming a minister instead).
    Do you know about Warrior Librarians? I have given both sisters Warrior Librarian mugs and tote bags. there is also a comic strip for librarians, I believe it is called Off the Shelf or something like that.

  • Alicia

    I agree with Jestrfyl, Nell. That is a very long and thorough list. Especially love the library scene in “Shadow of a Doubt.” Alfred Hitchcock captures Middle America so well in that film that I sometimes feel I have wandered into “It’s a Wonderful Life,” especially during the library scene.
    I love “The Music Man,” of course, and sometimes I think I am “Marian.”
    Cheers!

  • Dave

    Not so much a movie librarian, but my vote for the best librarian in fiction goes to Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), high school librarian and watcher to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think a national librarians association made Giles their poster boy at one point.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    You can count on librarians to be thorough! And I love Desk Set, too, jestrfyl. I always wanted to be like the women in that movie, with all those random facts at my fingertips. Thank goodness Google makes it possible!
    I’ve given my sister librarian t-shirts (I Read Banned Books, etc.) and have talked to the Off the Shelf people. Librarians are wonderful!

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Great choices, Dave and Alicia! I also love the Quaker librarian in “The Philadelphia Story” (“What does thee wish?”) and the librarian in “Ghostbusters.”

  • Kevin L.

    Such a long list, but two big omissions:
    “The Day After Tomorrow”, where the heroes escape Armageddon by taking refuge in the New York Public Library (burning books for fuel), and the librarian provides some life-saving information.
    “Ball of Fire (1941)” – not technically a library, but Gary Cooper and his fellow encyclopedia researchers are turned upside down by the arrival of Barbar Stanwyck.
    Favorites:
    The Shawshank Redemption
    The Music Man
    The Name of the Rose
    Pleasantville
    Something Wicked This Way Comes
    Soylent Green
    Top moment: In “Desk Set”, reference librarian Katherine Hepburn challenges computer expert Spencer Tracy with the line:
    “Did you invent something that carries the mail?”
    Oh, how little they knew.

  • Kevin L.

    One other omission, though ironic in nature: the Twilight Zone episode “Time Enough at Last”, where Burgess Meredith gets everything he ever wished for – then breaks his glasses.
    p.s. Thanks for upgrading your Captcha tool.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    GREAT additions, Kevin! “Ball of Fire” is one of my very favorite movies. I couldn’t believe it in “Day After Tomorrow” when they burned books instead of, say, tables and chairs! And that “Twilight Zone” episode still haunts me.

  • Sinclair Gordon

    An blog entirely about libraries and librarians in movies http://librariesatthemovies.blogspot.com/

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    That’s great, Mr. Gordon, thanks!

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