BONUS! Has it been a month, or are you just happy to see me?

Sharing stats one month into launching Reel Librarians

Happy one-month blog-iversary! I launched this blog one month ago, Sept. 19, 2011, and I thought I’d share some stats and numbers with you. Let’s roll some numbers:

  • 165 tags
  • 52 categories
  • 31 days
  • 30 comments total
  • 20 visits daily average
  • 18 posts (not including this one)
  • 6 email subscribers
  • 3 posts a week:  MWF schedule
  • 1 month

Most popular pages:  Home page, About, Where do I begin? A love story (first post), Master List, Resources


‘City of’ librarians

Bonus points for the angels in this film, as many like to hang out in the public library

City of librarians… not really! We only get to see one librarian in City of Angels (1998), a dramatic weepy starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. Basically, an angel (Cage) becomes romantically involved with a doctor (Ryan). My memories of the film immediately bring to mind the following:  1. Cage and Ryan having almost no romantic chemistry, kind of a necessity in this kind of film, and 2. Meg Ryan having an overly fussy hairdo. Not a great movie, but I remember the soundtrack being really popular.

Although the film is set in Los Angeles, the library showcased in the film is the quite picturesque San Francisco Public Library. (And fun side note: I’ve actually been inside the main branch, which is quite breathtaking in real life, too.)

Below is a trailer for the film, which does include footage of the library scene!

City of Angels – Trailer” video uploaded by YouTube Movies is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

Bonus points for the angels in this film, as many like to hang out in the public library (see above in the trailer). There are several short scenes set in the library, including one in which Ryan asks a young male circulation clerk about a particular book. She asks if he can tell her who it belongs to. The clerk can’t tell her who, but can tell her when. The clerk is bald-headed, clean-shaven, and wears thick glasses. In a rare display of library technology (although he says, “Give me five minutes“), the clerk scans the book’s barcode and looks it up in the computer system. He is your basic Information Provider, following the rules, no more, no less.

Sources used:

  • City of Angels. Dir. Brad Silberling. Perf. Meg Ryan, Nicolas Cage, Dennis Franz. Warner Bros., 1998.

Movie, movie

I have lots of films to watch, so how do I go about that?

So out of the roughly 650 titles currently on my Master List of librarian movies — not counting the lists of foreign films, TV shows, or documentaries — I’ve personally watched almost 200 of them. Some films I have seen many, many times (It’s a Wonderful Life, Desk Set, Party Girl being among my personal faves), while others I have watched so that YOU don’t have to (Neverending Story III — just say no!)

I have many more films to watch, so how do I go about that? First off, I own a large collection of librarian movies. I keep adding to it when I can; as of now, my personal collection of librarian movies stands at around 70 titles. I’ve added a shot of some of them all stacked up, so you can get a peek. You might notice several of these personal titles are still plastic-wrapped; those are the ones I haven’t gotten around to watching (yet). Another great reason for this blog! And yes, I have several titles taped off TV, so no judging.

A glimpse into my world of reel librarians
A glimpse into my world of reel librarians

I also use my local public library to check out movies — hurray for libraries! Seriously, they’re better than Netflix or Blockbuster, so sign up and start checking out their collection of (free-for-you) movies. I’ve already got a list of over 50 more dvds I have begun requesting steadily from my public library, and I get to pick them up at my local branch just a few blocks away.

Plus, I’ve got a list of 60 more titles that are available from my cable on-demand service and Hulu (a subscription to HuluPlus only comes to about $8 a month, totally worth it). And throughout the year, I pick up a few more movies by going through the TCM and AMC TV schedules – this can be a gold mine for older movies that aren’t otherwise available. So I’ve got plenty more posts and reel librarian analysis down the pipe!

Dishonorable Mention

Here are some extras rounding out my bottom picks for reel librarian portrayals.

Bookies (2003):

A student library employee uses the university library as the drop-off spot in a bookmaking scheme. This shining example of a library worker smokes, drinks, curses, plays video games, and has an addiction problem with gambling and drugs (in one scene, he does drugs on the library copier!). He is called an “asshole” by everyone, including his co-workers!

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001):

Another Spinster Librarian, this time one who is outraged by a homeless man sleeping in the library.

High School High (1992):

A school librarian shows up briefly twice to yell out, “You suck!” to a naïve, well-meaning teacher.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969):

Another Spinster Librarian, one who shoos noisy children out of the school library and declares, “This is a library, not a fun fair!” The drab clothing and unflattering hairstyle of side buns do not help.

Wetherby (1969):

A misguided scholar visits the British Library Lending Division (where he is informed by a rude, wholly disinterested librarian that they do NOT lend books) and then shoots himself in a stranger’s house later that night. Coincidence? Perhaps, but definitely not the most positive reel librarian portrayal.

Honorable Mention

Here are some extras rounding out my top picks for reel librarian portrayals.

Because of Winn-Dixie (2005):

At first glance, Miss Franny seems to be a spinster librarian, but we soon see her as a warm, friendly kindred spirit to the film’s heroine.

The Human Comedy (1943):

There is a brief, but heartwarming, scene in which the elderly librarian shares her love of books to two young boys.

Lorenzo’s Oil (1992):

One of the best reference interviews on film—an academic librarian calms an irritable patron without patronizing him.

The Music Man (1962):

Not one of my personal favorites (sorry, Robert Preston fans), but it is a good film notable for its influence in cementing librarians in popular culture.

The Substitute (1996):

A school librarian stands up to hoodlums—and backs it up by packing a pistol! Probably not the most family-friendly reel librarian (she’s got a potty mouth, as well) but one of the most memorable!