I have collected a few reader questions, so I figured it was a good time to flex my librarian skills in answering some questions! Art imitates life, right? 🙂
Question #1: How many movies have librarians in them?
Note: This Q&A has been updated; please see my 2017 “Revisiting reel librarian totals” post.
This is a frequently asked question from multiple readers (and colleagues!).
I don’t have a hard-and-fast answer, as there continue to be movies made each year that feature reel librarians. Therefore, I am always adding to my Master List of titles that I am also slowly working my way through and verifying. But at current count, my Master List has 795 titles (825 total minus the 30 Class V films that have no librarians in them). There are also currently 152 titles on my Foreign Films list, as well as 94 titles on my Short Films and Documentaries list.
That adds up to a running total of 1,041 reel librarian films thus far. Wow!
Question #2: Librarians of color
Note: This Q&A has been updated; please see my 2017 “Revisiting reel librarian totals” post and in my 2021 “Reel librarians of color, 2021 update” post
This question “How many movies are there with librarians of color?” comes from reader Tracy S.
Again, no definitive answer, as I continue to work my way through my Master List, a lifelong project. But taking a look through the films I have seen thus far in my Reel Substance section, there have been at least 24 reel librarians of color (15 African Americans, 5 Latinos, 3 Asian/Asian-Americans, and 1 Native American), including the following:
- Jaye Loft-Lyn as Microfilm Library Clerk in Pickup on South Street (1953) — a role featured in my Reel Librarians Firsts post!
- Jaye Stewart as Male Librarian in All the President’s Men (1976) — he’s the librarian who breaks the case for the reporters!
- Paul Benjamin as English in Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
- Tim Reid as Michael Hanlon in Stephen King’s It (TV, 1990) — a Class I major character and Liberated Librarian
- C. Francis Blackchild as Wanda & L. B. Williams as Howard in Party Girl (1995)
- Aunjanue Ellis as Jo & Demene E. Hall as Mrs. Biddle in Men of Honor (2000)
- Orlando Jones as Vox in The Time Machine (2002) — one of my personal favorites and prototypical Information Provider, seen in the YouTube clip below
- Merrina Millsapp as Hall of Records Attendant in Ella Enchanted (2004) — click here for my write-up of this film
- Liz Torres as Delores Rodriguez in Just Cause (1995)
- Javier Bardem as Reinaldo Arenas in Before Night Falls (2000) — an Oscar-nominated role, a definite rarity for any reel librarian!
Asian / Asian-American:
- Shakti as Kala in The Golden Child (1986)
- Alfred Ono as Mr. Fong in Elephant (2003)
- Jane Lind as Noayak in Salmonberries (1991)
Question #3: Classical music in Spider-Man librarian cameo
Danny D. recently asked, “May I know the name of the classical music when Stan Lee was in the library in The Amazing Spider-Man where he was not aware what was happening behind him.”
Although I haven’t found anything that directly confirms the classical music that plays during Stan Lee’s cameo in 2012’s Spider-Man reboot — see my post about his cameo here — it sounds like the Vienna Waltz by Johann Strauss. It’s most definitely a waltz, in any case.
Do you have any reel librarian-related questions you’d like me to research? Please leave a comment below. Thanks! 🙂
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