‘Baby Boom’ librarian

A “meet cute” in the library

First thought upon rewatching Baby Boom? SO EIGHTIES! From the opening title card (seen below) to the music to the massive shoulder pads to the opening narration, complete with bon mots like “sociologists say the new working woman is a phenomenon of our time” and “a woman like this has it all!“. The movie was made in 1987, after all, and stars Diane Keaton as J.C. Wiatt, a successful businesswoman who, through reasons of PLOT, becomes the custodian for a one-year-old.

I think this kind of movie probably had to be made at that time period, and it was well-received by critics and audiences, even inspiring a TV show of the same name from 1988-1989. Diane Keaton is the main reason this movie works.

Title screen for Baby Boom (1987)
Typically ’80s font for the title screen for Baby Boom (1987)

*SPOILER ALERT*

At 1 hour, 14 minutes into the film, J.C. has moved to Vermont and has the idea of manufacturing her homemade baby food. And where does she head first? To the library, of course! Smart woman. 😉

Specifically, she heads to the Bennington College Library.

Screenshot of the Bennington College Library sign in Baby Boom (1987)
Screenshot of the Bennington College Library sign in Baby Boom (1987)

The next shot highlights J.C. back to her fast-talking self, listing all the info she needs from the young librarian at the desk. She wants materials on starting a small business and marketing trends, including info on Baby Boomers, demographics, and new consumerism.

The reel librarian — possibly a student library assistant? — doesn’t get any lines; rather, she just nods and starts making notes. She is wearing glasses and an awesomely ’80s  sweater vest. There is also a large tape dispenser and a book cart beside her:  examples of classic “librarian props.” 😉

Reel librarian and librarian props in Baby Boom (1987)
Reel librarian and librarian props in Baby Boom (1987)
Reel Librarians | Baby boomer research
Library research in Baby Boom

The librarian obviously got her what she needed because in the next shot, we see J.C. with a pile of materials and taking notes. As she describes it, “I’m doing a little bit of research.”

Library research in Baby Boom
“I’m doing a little bit of research.”

And lo and behold, the cute local vet (played by Sam Shepard) walks down the library stairs. Turns out he teaches a class at the college, and I appreciate the attention to detail that he’s coming from the “Medical Science” section of the library!

Screenshot from Baby Boom
Coming down from the Medical Research section of the library

He and J.C. then proceed to “meet cute” in the library. J.C. tries to hide behind a magazine, and then later drops all her library materials. Smoooooooooth.

"Meet cute" in the library in Baby Boom (1987)
“Meet cute” in the library in Baby Boom (1987)
"Meet cute" in the library in Baby Boom (1987)
Smooth.

And later in the film, when J.C. and the vet (finally) get together, she references that scene in the library! 🙂

The library scene is extremely short, lasting only two minutes seconds in total. The reel librarian is onscreen for only a few seconds of that scene, and she doesn’t even earn a screen credit. This short cameo role lands Baby Boom in the Class IV category, in which the librarian(s) plays a cameo role and is seen only briefly with little or no dialogue. The reel librarian definitely fulfills the Information Provider role, providing information to Keaton’s character as well as helping establish the library setting.

And the library itself is quite lovely. The stained glass windows are gorgeous, and the dark wood paneling and bookshelves give the library a traditional feel. And there is a Bennington College in real life, and they have two libraries:  the main Crossett Library (which looks super modern, as seen here), and the Jennings Music Library.

Y’all knew I would look that up, right? 😉


Sources used:


  • Baby Boom. Dir. Charles Shyer. Perf. Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard, Sam Wanamaker. United Artists, 1987.

Author: Jennifer

Librarian, blogger, movie lover

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