A trip down memory lane

This past week, a good friend of mine from Platteville, Wisconsin, sent me a letter — and surprise! — added an old newspaper clipping from the The Platteville Journal. The clipping was an October 2007 article about me and my reel librarian research.

Reel Librarians | Newspaper clipping from The Platteville Journal

I used to live and work in Platteville at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, from 2005 through 2008, and I had totally forgotten about this article!

It made for a lovely, and unexpected, trip down memory lane. 😀

Back in fall 2007, the newspaper published an article, entitled “Librarian connects the real to ‘reel’ stereotypes,” to highlight the fact that I was about to present a program on the topic at that year’s Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference in Green Bay. The story ended up on page 9 of the local paper, taking up about half of that page. The Platteville Journal doesn’t keep any archives online, so it’s a treat to now have what must be one of the few records left of this article.

Reel Librarians | Newspaper clipping from The Platteville Journal

Here’s a quote from me in the article:

I’m interested in exploring what librarians represent in film, and how we, as watchers, react to these images and portrayals.

And I’m still exploring those themes ten years later… the more times change, the more things stay the same! 😀

You can see the color version of that same photo used in the newspaper article here in this previous post about my reel librarian poster sessions, and you can read about another reel librarians program I presented last year at the Oregon Library Association Annual Conference.


OLA Conference program wrap-up

As I promised in last week’s post, I have some pics and info from the reel librarians program I presented at the 2016 Oregon Library Association Annual Conference. I had so much fun during my program — there was so much energy from the audience! 😀

The conference theme for this year was “Tell Your Story,” and my presentation was titled “When Others Tell Our Story: Librarian Portrayals in Film.” I have a copy of my conference materials online here at the Northwest Central website, in case you’d like to take a look. (Note: My slides look plain in on the online version, since I had to take out the embedded videos due to copyright protection; I substituted film titles in place of the videos.)

Reel Librarians | Intro slide from my reel librarians program at the OLA Conference 2016

There was a full house at the program — and then some, with people sitting on the floor in the back! I counted 75-80 attendees (some had to leave early and/or arrived later), and I was over the moon that there was so many people interested in the program! Everyone seemed super engaged and asking questions and leaning in and laughing in all the places I hoped they would! 😀

I started the program with a quick think-pair-share activity for the audience to visualize the first movie with a reel librarian they could think of, then share with a partner. Did they think of the same movie or librarian character? Did they think of different movies? I then invited a few audience members to share with everyone, and these are the resulting film titles that first came to mind:

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • The Music Man
  • Party Girl
  • Desk Set
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Foul Play

A comment I heard more than once afterward was that attendees were thankful for a fun program and needed the opportunity to laugh — and that they wanted more fun programs at the conference in general. A friend also shared that she thought the scheduling of my program, set for right after lunch, was really good timing, as it helped energize the audience — helping prevent the “food coma” phenomenon!

And thanks to my friend Stephanie for taking pics during my program!

I only had an hour, so I had to really condense the info and film clips to include in the program. I included screenshots and clips from the following 25 films:

I enjoyed quite a few follow-up conversations with attendees, and have already received a few follow-up emails, as well — and a few more suggestions to add to my list! I was also super pleased at one woman’s comment that she felt the program had a good balance of fun and substance — awesome feedback! Others admitted to me that, at first, they couldn’t really think of any films with librarians in them but then were surprised at how many there actually are (I have almost 1,000 titles on my Master List!) and the variety that I showed through film clips. I also cracked up at the suggestion that I should develop a stand-up routine about reel librarians and take the show on the road! Hah! 😀

I also had a handout takeaway for the attendees who came to the program, available to view here. I brought 50 copies, so I totally ran out of handouts! The handout included my Reel Librarians link and email address, in case anyone comes across a film title to add to my Master List, and a copy of the trivia challenge questions, which were previously posted here on this site.

It was a super fun experience to put together and present the program! Thanks to everyone who attended the program, and for all the readers of this website and blog!

Next week, I’ll be back with another film analysis post.

Presenting a reel librarian program @ OLA Conference 2016

Exciting news! Tomorrow, I will be presenting a program about reel librarians at the 2016 Oregon Library Association Annual Conference, taking place in beautiful Bend, Oregon, April 20-22, 2016. This year’s conference theme is “Tell Your Story,” and my presentation is titled “When Others Tell Our Story: Librarian Portrayals in Film.”

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from OLA program schedule

Here’s my program write-up on the online conference schedule:

This program will highlight how librarians are portrayed in film. What can we learn about our own profession by the way others tell our story on the big screen? Culled from years of film analysis and research, as showcased on the presenter’s site Reel Librarians (http://reel-librarians.com), this program will feature both female and male “reel” librarian portrayals, illustrated with cinematic examples. How might these portrayals help (or inhibit) connections between librarians and our communities? Let’s all come together to identify and laugh – or groan! – at how we are portrayed in the “reel” world.

So tomorrow, Thursday, April 21, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., that’s where I’ll be. Hopefully, I’ll see y’all there — if not in person, then definitely in spirit. 😀

Next week, I hope to have some pics to share from the program and conference.


Reel librarian poster sessions

While living and working in Wisconsin in the mid-to-late 2000s, I began my first Reel Librarians web site as a way to pull together all my research up to that point in one place. I then began presenting my research via local and state conference poster sessions, which was a great way to talk with fellow professionals about reel librarians. It was fun to personally witness how surprised even my fellow librarians were at how many films feature our profession!

Reel Librarians  |  WLA Poster Session, 2006

My first poster session was at the 2006 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference in November 2006. The left side of the poster featured female character types (“Beyond the Bun”), the right side had male character types (“Beyond the Bow Tie”), and the middle section highlighted firsts in librarian cinema.

And fun fact — I still have that “Connecting Librarians & Film” poster! 😀

Reel Librarians  |  Research Poster Day, 2007

I next presented my poster at my university’s Research/Poster Day in March 2007. I also brought in old film canisters — from our own library, no less! — which propped up a laptop featuring my (then current) web site.

Reel Librarians  |  Research Poster Day, 2007

The next month, April 2007, I presented my poster again at the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians (WAAL) Annual Conference.

Reel Librarians  |  WAAL Poster Session, 2007

In the wide shot below during the poster session, I’m in the upper left corner talking with a colleague.

Reel Librarians  |  WAAL Poster Session, 2007

For this go-around, I added a film librarian trivia challenge and a giveaway. The prize? This “Marian the Librarian” coffee mug! (I bought two, so I could keep one for myself.)

Next week, I’ll share the trivia challenge, so y’all have time to prepare. 😉