I’ve 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?
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 & Documentaries list.
That adds up to a running total of 1,041 reel librarian films thus far. Wow!
Question #2: Librarians of color
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:
- 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 or send me an email by clicking the “Ask a Librarian” link above. Thanks!
- What is the Librarian’s role? Are Librarians Totally Obsolete? (futurelibrary.blogs.latrobe.edu.au)
- BONUS! As seen on… (reel-librarians.com)
- Reel librarian trivia challenge (reel-librarians.com)