Library Wars… oh, the places you’ll go

It’s amazing sometimes to think about how you first come across a piece of information, and then the journey that bit of info can take you on. For instance, my Irish compatriot Colin Higgins @ Libraries at the Movies sent me a Facebook message last week about an official trailer for a 2013 film called Library Wars.

Had I heard of this? Nope. I focus mostly on English-language films, but I do maintain a list of foreign films featuring reel librarians.

So OF COURSE I watched the trailer. As should you:

Wow! From the trailer, it feels like a modern Fahrenheit 451. Librarians as the ultimate freedom fighters!

And then, being a librarian, OF COURSE I had to do a little more digging.

Turns out, this film is an adaptation of series of Japanese novels called Toshokan Sensō by Hiro Arikawa, published in 2006-2007. These novels have inspired a manga, an anime TV series plus an animated feature released last year. A-mazing!

And now this live-action version is out, making its U.S. debut in early August at the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. You can read an interesting interview with the film’s director, Shinsuke Sato, here. The official plot summary on the JFF site reads:

Japan Film Festival of San Francisco  |  Plot summary for 'Library Wars'

But it doesn’t stop there! Turns out, Arikawa’s novels are themselves inspired by the Japan Library Association’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries, which was first adopted in 1979 (also my birth year, which was obviously a good year in general). How cool is that?! You can read that Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries here.

Japan Library Association Intellectual Freedom StatementAnd if you’re wondering, huh, does the U.S. have a similar statement? Why yes, we do! Here’s a link to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights; the Freedom to Read Statement; as well as the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF).

So there you have it. A trailer for a new movie leads to the discovery of a series of popular novels about defending libraries (squeeee!) to the JLA’s Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries to the OIF. It’s been a good day indeed, celebrating the right to read.

Happy reading! 🙂


2 comments on “Library Wars… oh, the places you’ll go

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