The librarian(s) plays a cameo role and is seen only briefly with little or no dialogue.
*Spoiler Alert* The following annotations may contain important plot details.
The Alphabet Murders (1965):
Details: Dir. Frank Tashlin. Perf. Tony Randall, Robert Morley, Anita Ekberg. MGM, 1965. Based on the novel by Agatha Christie.
Synopsis: A comedic take on Christie’s novel. Stringer Davis makes a very brief cameo in his role as Mr. Stringer, the older white male and village librarian character from the 1960s series of Jane Marple movies.
Role Call: Stringer Davis as Mr. Stringer—Comic Relief (male)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012):
Details: Dir. Marc Webb. Perf. Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Martin Sheen, Rhys Ifans. Columbia, 2012. Based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Synopsis: A reboot of Spider-Man, with creator Stan Lee camping it up in a white male librarian cameo.
Role Call: Stan Lee as School Librarian — Comic Relief (male)
Related post: First impressions: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’
The Amityville Horror (1979):
Details: Dir. Stuart Rosenberg. Perf. James Brolin, Margot Kidder, Rod Steiger. American International Pictures, 1979. Based on the book by Jay Anson.
Synopsis: A horror film about a white family who moves into a house with a scary past. In one scene, the father (James Brolin) goes to the public library to look up information about the house. Two older white ladies at the circulation desk do not notice when he steals a book.
Role Call: Two uncredited females—Spinster Librarians
At First Sight (1999):
Details: Dir. Irwin Winkler. Perf. Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly McGillis. MGM, 1999. Based on the true story of Shirl & Barbara Jennings, and the essay “To See and Not See” in An Anthropologist on Mars by Dr. Oliver Sacks.
Synopsis: Based on a true story about a white blind man who has his eyesight restored. There’s a brief cameo from a spunky librarian friend — but no scene in any actual library.
Role Call: Margo Winkler as Nancy Bender—Information Provider (female)
Related post: Librarian ‘at first sight’
Autumn in New York (2000):
Details: Dir. Joan Chen. Perf. Richard Gere, Winona Ryder, Vera Farmiga. MGM, 2000.
Synopsis: An older white playboy (Richard Gere) falls in love with a young white woman (Winona Ryder) who’s terminally ill, and he discovers a long-lost daughter (Vera Farmiga). In a brief scene, Gere tries to discover who Farmiga is, but the librarian on duty declines to give him her name but instead informs him that “I’ll tell her you’re here.” Librarian win for personal privacy!
Role Call: Delores Mitchell as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
The Avengers (1998):
Details: Dir. Jeremiah S. Chechik. Perf. Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery, Jim Broadbent, Fiona Shaw. Warner Bros., 1998. Based on the British TV show.
Synopsis: White British agents John Steed (Joseph Fiennes) and Emma Peel (Uma Thurman) unite against Sir August De Wynter (Sean Connery), who attempts to control the world by a weather machine. Steed goes to the Ministry Archives, and the archivist is… invisible! (But of course, there are floating glasses, because PROPS.) A uniquely memorable reel librarian/archivist.
Role Call: Patrick Macnee as Invisible Jones—Information Provider/Comic Relief (male)
Details: Dir. Penny Marshall. Perf. Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner, Penelope Ann Miller. Columbia, 1990. Based on the book by Oliver Sacks.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, Dr. Sayer (Robin Williams) finds a new treatment for a ward of comatose patients. Includes a short library scene in which a doctor researches diseases in order to help his patients trapped in comas.
Role Call: Adam Bryant as Librarian—Information Provider (male)
Baby Boom (1987):
Details: Dir. Charles Shyer. Perf. Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard, Sam Wanamaker. United Artists, 1987.
Synopsis: A comedy about a white career woman (Diane Keaton) who becomes the custodian for a baby from a distant relative. It changes her life, and she goes to a local library for info on starting a small business. A young white woman is on duty at the library desk.
Role Call: Uncredited female—Information Provider (female)
Related post: ‘Baby Boom’ librarian
Back When We Were Grownups (TV, 2004)
Details: Dir. Ron Underwood. Perf. Blythe Danner, Faye Dunaway, Peter Fonda. Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions, 2004. Based on the novel by Anne Tyler.
Synopsis: An older white woman, Rebecca (blythe Danner), looks back over her life and rekindles a relationship with a former beau. There are a handful of library scenes, including one in a college library and two at the Baltimore County Public Library’s Central Branch. Rebecca is researching Robert E. Lee.
Role Call: Lynette DuPree as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
Beautiful Girls (1996):
Details: Dir. Ted Demme. Perf. Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton, Michael Rapaport, Mira Sorvino, Rosie O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, Natalie Portman. Miramax, 1996.
Synopsis: A white man (Timothy Hutton) revisits his small hometown for a high school reunion. A break-up scene takes place in the local public library, and an older white woman can be briefly glimpsed as the librarian.
Role Call: Uncredited female—Information Provider (female)
Related post: Calling all the ‘beautiful girls’
Bed of Roses (1996):
Details: Dir. Michael Goldenberg. Perf. Christian Slater, Mary Stuart Masterson. New Line, 1996.
Synopsis: Romantic drama about a white career woman (Mary Stuart Masterson) who falls in love with a white male florist (Christian Slater). For one date, Slater takes Masterson to the children’s reading hour at a local public library, and he introduces her to the children’s librarian, an African American woman.
Role Call: Mary Alice as Alice—Information Provider (female)
Details: Dir. Fernanda Cardoso. Perf. Allison McAtee, Sarah Stouffer. Frontier Studios, 2010.
Synopsis: Coming-of-age drama about a former child actress (Sarah Stouffer), a young white woman, who attends college and falls in love with a white female psychology professor (Allison McAtee). When she gets a chance to return to Hollywood, what will she choose? There are a couple of brief scenes in the college library, including one at the end that features a young white female library worker at the check-out desk.
Role Call: Megan Martz as Library Attendant—Information Provider (female)
Related post: In the ‘Bloomington’ stacks
Details: Dir. Douglas Trumbull. Perf. Natalie Wood, Christopher Walken, Louise Fletcher, Cliff Robertson. MGM/UA, 1983.
Synopsis: Brilliant researcher Michael Brace (Christopher Walken), a young white man, has developed a system of recording and replaying actual experiences of people, complete with the “higher brain functions” of thoughts, emotions, senses of smell, etc. There are a few moments toward the end of the film that highlight the Tape Library and its technicians, white men and women.
Role Call: Jimmy Casino as Tape Library Technician — Information Provider (male); May Raymond Boss as Tape Library Woman — Information Provider (female); Clay Boss as Tape Library Man — Information Provider (male)—Information Provider (female)
Related post: ‘Brainstorm’-ing
Brief Encounter (1945):
Details: Dir. David Lean. Perf. Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard. Cineguild, 1945.
Synopsis: Romantic drama about a white English wife and mother (Celia Johnson) and a white English husband and father (Howard), who meet one day by chance and fall in love. The woman stops by the Boots Lending Library on her weekly shopping trip; an uncredited white woman plays the librarian.
Role Call: Uncredited female as Miss Lewis — Information Provider (female)
Cape Fear (1962):
Details: Dir. J. Lee Thompson. Perf. Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen. Universal, 1962. Based on the novel by John D. MacDonald
Synopsis: A lawyer’s family is terrorized by a violent white man (played by Robert Mitchum). Josephine Smith is listed in IMDb.com as playing a Librarian in an uncredited role.
Role Call: Josephine Smith as Librarian (uncredited)—Information Provider (female)
Caroline? (TV, 1990):
Details: Dir. Joseph Sargent. Perf. Stephanie Zimbalist, Pamela Reed, George Grizzard, Patricia Neal. Hallmark Hall of Fame, 1990. Based on the book Father’s Arcane Daughter by E. L. Konigsburg.
Synopsis: This Emmy-winning TV movie focuses on a mysterious white woman (Stephanie Zimbalist) who claims to be a rich man’s daughter, Caroline Carmichael, long presumed to have been killed in a plane crash fourteen years earlier. Is she really Caroline? The film explores that question, but goes to some unexpected places, including the education of handicapped children. Caroline’s younger half-brother Winston goes to the public library in one scene to look up old newspaper articles about the plane crash.
Role Call: Laura Whyte as Librarian — Information Provider
Carrie (TV, 2002):
Details: Dir. David Carson. Perf. Angela Bettis, Patricia Clarkson, Rena Sofer, Kandyse McClure. MGM Television, 2002. Based on the novel by Stephen King.
Synopsis: A TV remake of the classic 1976 film. A school librarian, an older white woman, is seen in a few scenes set in the school library, and Carrie does some research online.
Role Call: Irene Miscisco as Librarian — Information Provider
Related post: Getting carried away in ‘Carrie’ (2002)
City of Angels (1998):
Details: Dir. Brad Silberling. Perf. Meg Ryan, Nicolas Cage, Dennis Franz. Warner Bros., 1998.
Synopsis: Set in San Francisco, an angel (Nicolas Cage) becomes romantically involved with a doctor (Meg Ryan). The angels like to hang out in the San Francisco public library, and there is a short scene with a young white male techy librarian.
Role Call: Sid Hillman as Librarian—Information Provider (male)
Related post: ‘City of’ librarians
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold (1994):
Details: Dir. Paul Weiland. Perf. Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Jon Lovitz, Jack Palance. Castle Rock Entertainment/Warner Home Video, 1994.
Synopsis: The sequel to the more entertaining City Slickers (1991). There is a brief scene in a public library, where Mitch (Billy Crystal) and Phil (Daniel Stern) discover information from old newspaper articles on microfilm. They get shushed several times, by both library staff and patrons
Role Call: Helen Siff as Shushing Lady — Comic Relief; Unidentified male — Information Provider (male)
Related post: A tale of seven shushes in ‘City Slickers II’
Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939):
Details: Dir. Anatole Litvak. Perf. Edward G. Robinson, George Sanders, Paul Lukas. Warner Bros., 1939. Based on articles by Leon G. Turrou.
Synopsis: WWII propaganda film about a G-Man (Edward G. Robinson) who investigates a Nazi spy ring in the U.S. There is a brief scene in the Periodicals Reading Room at the New York Public Library’s Central Branch, and a young white man plays the librarian.
Role Call: Uncredited male—Information Provider (male)
Related post: ‘Confessions’ of a reel librarian
Criminal Law (1988):
Details: Dir. Martin Campbell. Perf. Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon, Tess Harper. MGM, 1988.
Synopsis: Hotshot lawyer Ben Chase (Gary Oldman) successfully defends a client (Kevin Bacon), realizing after that his client is guilty. In one scene about a half-hour into the film, Ben visits an older, white male professor in the law library. Everyone seems to be on familiar and friendly terms with the librarian, an older white woman.
Role Call: Irene Kessler as Librarian Peggy — Information Provider (female)
Related post: ‘Criminal Law’ librarian
Dangerous Minds (1995):
Details: Dir. John N. Smith. Perf. Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzunda, Courtney B. Vance. Hollywood Pictures-Buena Vista, 1995. Based on the book My Posse Don’t Do Homework by LouAnne Johnson.
Synopsis: A white female ex-Marine (Michelle Pfeiffer) struggles to connect with her students in an inner city high school. There is at least one short scene set in the school library.
Role Call: Jeff Feringa as Librarian #1; Sarah Marshall as Librarian #2—both Information Providers (female)
Dream with the Fishes (1997):
Details: Dir. Finn Taylor. Perf. David Arquette, Brad Hunt, Kathryn Erbe. Sony Pictures Classics, 1997.
Synopsis: Nick (Brad Hunt), who is terminally ill, inspires Terry (David Arquette), a suicidal voyeur. In one scene, a man in a hospital can’t remember the names of all the seven dwarves, so he calls a local library for help. According to Martin Raish’s site, Librarians in the Movies: An Annotated Filmography, the library scene was filmed in a real medical center library.
Role Call: Beth Daly as Librarian & Uncredited female—both Information Providers (female)
Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999):
Details: Dir. Michael Patrick Jann. Perf. Kirsten Dunst, Kirstie Alley, Denise Richards, Ellen Barkin, Allison Janney. New Line Cinema, 1999.
Synopsis: A pitch-black comedy about a local beauty pageant. The plot includes murder, a huge swan float engulfed in flames, beauty pageant contestants upchucking contaminated seafood, and more! There are a couple of memorable closeups with an older white female librarian, who recalls her past as the beauty pageant winner in 1945.
Role Call: Claudia Wilkens as Iona Hildebrandt, 1945 Winner—Comic Relief (female)
Ella Enchanted (2004):
Details: Dir. Tommy O’Haver. Perf. Anne Hathaway, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes. Miramax, 2004. Based on the book by Gail Carson Levine.
Synopsis: The well-known Cinderella plot hinges on Ella’s gift of obedience bestowed by a fairy godmother, Lucinda (Vivica A. Fox), whom Ella is trying to find in order to release this curse of a blessing. Ella (Anne Hathaway) tries to find some record of Lucinda in the castle’s Hall of Records, where a young black female archives clerk (Merrina Millsapp) is most unhelpful.
Role Call: Merrina Millsapp as Hall of Records Attendant—Information Provider (female)
Related post: A not-so-enchanting librarian in ‘Ella Enchanted’
Ever After (1998):
Details: Dir. Andy Tennant. Perf. Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott, Anjelica Huston. 20th Century Fox, 1998. Based on the fairytale by Charles Perrault.
Synopsis: Another Cinderella-inspired story, one including a first date to a monastery library. Befitting the time period, the monastery librarians are all white males.
Role Call: Uncredited males as monastery librarians / monks — Information Providers (male)
Related post: ‘Ever After,’ my library
Finding Forrester (2000):
Details: Dir. Gus Van Sant. Perf. Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham. Columbia, 2000.
Synopsis: A reclusive white author (Sean Connery) becomes a mentor to a young African-American writing prodigy (Rob Brown). The student goes to the public library to try and check out the author’s most famous work and finds out that all the copies are checked out. And the director, Gus Van Sant, makes a cameo as one of the librarians! The other librarian is played by an Asian actress.
Role Call: Sophia Wu as Librarian—Information Provider (female) ; Gus Van Sant as Library Assistant (uncredited) — Information Provider (male)
Related post: ‘Finding’ a reel librarian
…First Do No Harm (TV, 1997):
Details: Dir. Jim Abrahams. Perf. Meryl Streep, Fred Ward, Seth Adkins, Allison Janney. ABC/Buena Vista Home Video, 1997.
Synopsis: This TV movie, based on real events, details one white mother’s (Meryl Streep) struggle to find a treatment for her epileptic son (Seth Adkins). Streep goes to a local public library to research epilepsy.
Note: Even though the library sign clearly identifies it as a Kansas City Public Library branch, the library interiors were filmed at the Toronto Public Library (the same library seen in the TV movie Personals, which was set in California).
Role Call: Barbara Stewart as Librarian—Information Provider (female); Uncredited male—Information Provider (male)
The Forgotten (2004):
Details: Dir. Joseph Ruben. Perf. Julianne Moore, Dominic West, Anthony Edwards. Columbia, 2004.
Synopsis: Telly Paretta (Julianne Moore) tries to deal with her grief over her son’s death, only to be told one day that her son never existed. In one brief library scene, Telly goes to the library to research newspaper articles about her son’s death. A young librarian recognizes that Telly is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, asks her what she needs, and helps her find newspapers on microfilm.
Role Call: Katie Cooper as Library Clerk—Information Provider (female)
Gods and Monsters (1998):
Details: Dir. Bill Condon. Perf. Ian McKellan, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave. Lions Gate, 1998. Based on the book Father of Frankenstein by Christopher Bram.
Synopsis: Famed horror film director James Whale (Ian McKellan) develops a friendship with his hunky young white gardener (Brendan Fraser). In a brief scene, a young white female librarian brings newspapers to Fraser, who looks up information about the director.
Role Call: Lisa Vastine as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
The Good Companions (1933):
Details: Dir. Victor Saville. Perf. Jessie Matthews, Edmund Gwenn, John Gielgud, Mary Glynne. Gaumont British Picture Corporation, 1933. Based on the novel by J. B. Priestley.
Synopsis: Three wayward souls find their way to a variety troupe called the “Dinky Doos” — thankfully, they change the name straightaway to “The Good Companions,” hence the title. A brief library scene with the first “Shush!” from a reel librarian, an older white man.
Role Call: Hugh E. Wright as Librarian — Information Provider (male)
Hidden Figures (2016):
Details: Dir. Theodore Melfi. Perf. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Mahershala Ali. Fox 2000 Pictures, 2016. Based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly.
Synopsis: A biographical film highlighting the personal and professional struggles and contributions of three African-American female mathematicians — or “computers” — at NASA during the early 1960s. Taraji P. Henson plays brilliant mathematician Katherine G. Johnson; Octavia Spencer, in an Oscar-nominated performance, plays mathematician and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan; and Janelle Monáe plays firecracker engineer Mary Jackson. There is a brief, but pivotal, library scene in which Vaughan enters the “whites” section of the library because the “colored” section doesn’t have what she needs; a white librarian (listed in the credits as “White Librarian”) refuses her service, leaving Vaughan to spirit the book out of the library.
Role Call: Rhoda Griffis as White Librarian — Information Provider (female)
High School High (1996):
Details: Dir. Hart Bochner. Perf. Jon Lovitz, Tia Carrere, Louise Fletcher, Mekhi Phifer. TriStar, 1996.
Synopsis: A parody of films like Dangerous Minds, a naïve teacher (Jon Lovitz) gets a job at a high school in the hood. After he makes a would-be inspirational speech at the school assembly, the school librarian yells out, “You suck!”
Role Call: Uncredited female—Comic Relief (female)
Home by Christmas (TV, 2006):
Details: Dir. Gail Harvey. Perf. Linda Hamilton, Brenda Crichlow. Lifetime, 2006.
Synopsis: After a white woman gets divorced from her cheating husband, she ends up homeless. A friend urges her to go to the library for books to study for the real estate license exam. There are a few shots in a public library and a few glimpses of a reel librarian, an older white woman, complete with cardigan and half-moon glasses on a chain.
Role Call: Donna White — Information Provider (female)
Related post: ‘Home by Christmas’ librarian
The House on Carroll Street (1988):
Details: Dir. Peter Yates. Perf. Kelly McGillis, Jeff Daniels, Mandy Patinkin. Orion, 1988.
Synopsis: A young white woman (Kelly McGillis), who is fired after refusing to give names to the House Un-American Activities Committee, overhears a suspicious argument in the house next door. In a brief scene, a white male FBI librarian runs a film projector for agent Jeff Daniels.
Role Call: William Duff-Griffin as Wentworth, FBI Librarian—Information Provider (male)
Related post: An FBI librarian in ‘The House on Carroll Street’
I Love Trouble (1994):
Details: Dir. Charles Shyer. Perf. Nick Nolte, Julia Roberts, Saul Rubinek. Touchstone—Buena Vista, 1994.
Synopsis: Rival reporters Peter and Sabrina (Nick Nolte & Julia Roberts) team up to investigate corrupt scientists at a chemical company. In one brief scene, the two look up a scientist’s obituary in a small public library. Sabrina shouts and pounds her first on a library table, and a student librarian walks by with a cart of books and shushes her. An older female librarian is visible behind them at the Circulation desk, where she checks in books.
Role Call: Annie Meyers-Shyer as Student Librarian and an uncredited female—both Information Providers (female)
I Love You to Death (1990):
Details: Dir. Lawrence Kasdan. Perf. Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, Joan Plowright, River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, William Hurt. TriStar, 199o.
Synopsis: In this black comedy, a loyal Italian-American wife, Rosalie (Liv Ullman), tries to kill her husband — several times — when she finds out that her husband, Joey (Kevin Kline), is cheating. And where does she find out about his philandering ways? In her local public library. (Sigh.) Two white female librarians are seen at the check-out desk.
Role Call: Audrey Rapoport as Librarian and an uncredited female—both Information Providers (female)
Related post: Love in the stacks in ‘I Love You to Death’
In God’s Country (TV, 2007):
Details: Dir. Kelly Rowan. Lifetime Television, 2007.
Synopsis: A young white mother (Kelly Rowan) living in a polygamous religious community escapes with her children, and they struggle to adjust living “on the outside.” In one brief scene, her 12-year-old daughter, Alice, goes to the school library. She asks the school librarian, a white woman, who is checking out books to another girl, for a book on astronomy. The librarian tells her the book is in the 520s. Alice stares at her, not understanding, and the librarian asks, “The Dewey Decimal system?”
Role Call: Agi Gallus as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
Related post: In Dewey’s country
Incident at Dark River, aka Dark River: A Father’s Revenge (TV, 1989):
Details: Dir. Michael Pressman. Perf. Mike Farrell, Tess Harper, Helen Hunt. TNT, 1989.
Synopsis: The story of a whitefather, Tim McFall, investigating his daughter’s death, which was caused by toxic waste dumped in the river by the town’s biggest employer, the local manufacturing factory. In one brief scene, he seeks the help of a white female librarian at his college library.
Role Call: Michaela Nelligan as Librarian — Information Provider (female)
Related post: ‘Incident at Dark River’ librarian
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989):
Details: Dir. Steven Spielberg. Perf. Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody. Paramount, 1989.
Synopsis: The third in the series, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) sets off to find the Holy Grail with his father (Sean Connery). Indiana highlights the role of the library and research during a classroom scene within the first 15 minutes of the film. And within the first 30 minutes, he visits a local library in Venice — converted from a church — which includes a funny scene with an uncredited reel librarian, an older white man. The power of the library stamp!
Role Call: Uncredited male—Comic Relief (male)
Related post: ‘Indiana Jones and the’ reel librarian
Details: Dir. Ivan Reitman. Perf. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito and Emma Thompson. Universal, 1994.
Synopsis: Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Dr. Alex Hesse, a male fertility research scientist, who becomes the test subject for his his latest fertility drug. He becomes the world’s first pregnant man! The opening scene is set in an academic library, and a white woman can be briefly glimpsed as a reel librarian pushing a book cart.
Role Call: Uncredited female — Information Provider (female)
Related post: A ‘Junior’ librarian
Killer Movie (2008):
Details: Dir. Jeff Fisher. Perf. Paul Wesley, Kaley Cuoco, Jason London, Leighton Meester. Peace Arch Home Entertainment, 2008.
Synopsis: In this film, a reality TV shoot at a small town in North Dakota turns into a murder game for a crazed-yet-cunning killer. One scene is set at the school library, and the librarian cameo lasts 4 seconds. If looks could kill? Mary Murphy plays against type as the librarian.
Role Call: Mary Murphy as Librarian–Information Provider (female) / Spinster Librarian
Related post: ‘Killer Movie,’ scary librarian
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001):
Details: Dir. Peter Jackson. Perf. Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett. New Line Cinema, 2001. Based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Synopsis: The first in a film trilogy of the well-known saga of Middle Earth, involving a hobbit’s quest to destroy a powerful ring. There is a brief scene in which a white male archivist shows Gandalf the Grey to the archives. The archives are in poor condition, with no apparent organization.
Role Call: Michael Elsworth as Gondorian Archivist—Information Provider (male)
Mad Love (1995):
Details: Dir. Antonia Bird. Perf. Chris O’Donnell, Drew Barrymore, Joan Allen. Touchstone—Buena Vista, 1995.
Synopsis: Two white high-schoolers Matt (Chris O’Donnell) and Casey (Drew Barrymore) fall in love and flee on a road trip after Casey’s parents check her into a mental hospital. A school librarian, a white woman, is visible in two short scenes. In the first, Matt spies Casey stealing a library book, and the librarian is behind the circulation desk. The librarian, pushing a cart of books in the school courtyard, later witnesses Casey set off a fire alarm; she immediately runs to another teacher and points Casey out as the culprit. The librarian only wears glasses in the library scene.
Role Call: Sharon Collar as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
The Magic of Ordinary Days (TV, 2005):
Details: Dir. Brent Shields. Perf. Keri Russell, Skeet Ulrich, Mare Winningham. Hallmark Hall of Fame, 2005. Based on the novel by Ann Howard Creel.
Synopsis: Set during World War II, a beautiful young white woman (Keri Russell) agrees to an arranged marriage with a lonely, good-hearted white farmer (Skeet Ulrich) due to her impending pregnancy out of wedlock. The farmer’s not the father — they’d never met before the wedding — but he’s determined to do the best by her. This includes getting some books from the local public library (an hour away!). A young white woman plays the friendly, helpful librarian.
Role Call: Kira Bradley as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
Marathon Man (1976):
Details: Dir. John Schlesinger. Perf. Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider, Marthe Keller. Paramount, 1976. Based on the novel by William Goldman.
Synopsis: A graduate history student (Dustin Hoffman) unwittingly gets involved in an international conspiracy involving former Nazi exiles and rogue spies. In an early scene set in a college library, Hoffman has a “meet cute” moment with Elsa (Marthe Keller), a white woman who turns out to be hiding secrets of her own.
Role Call: Unidentified female as Librarian —Information Provider (female)
Related post: Meet cute ‘marathon’
Me Before You (2016):
Details: Dir. Thea Sharrock. Perf. Emilia Clark, Sam Claflin, Vanessa Kirby, Jenna Coleman. Warner Bros., 2016. Based on the novel by Jojo Moyes.
Synopsis: A young white woman, Lou (Emilia Clark), helps take care of a recently paralyzed white man, Will (Sam Claflin). In a brief montage scene almost halfway through the film, Lou visits a public library to research activities for quadriplegics, to try and get Will out of his depression.
Role Call: Uncredited female as Librarian — Information Provider (female)
Related post:‘Me Before You’ (and the library, too)
Mercury Rising (1998):
Details: Dir. Harold Becker. Perf. Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Miko Hughes, Chi McBride. Universal, 1998. Based on the novel Simple Simon by Ryne Douglas Pearson.
Synopsis: Rebellious FBI agent Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis) protects a young autistic white boy (Miko Hughes) who can read a top-secret government code. In one scene, Art goes to the Chicago Public Library and enlists a librarian to locate and enter a private government email account. The librarian does all the work while the patron gives directions over her shoulder!
Role Call: Barbara Alexander as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
My Bodyguard (1980):
Details: Dir. Tony Bill. Perf. Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin, Matt Dillon, Ruth Gordon. 20th Century Fox, 1980.
Synopsis: A new white kid (Chris Makepeace) hires the school outcast (Adam Baldwin), a white boy, to protect him against a school bully (Matt Dillon), another white boy. Makepeace tries to elude the bullies by staying in the school library, and the school librarian is visible in the background closing up.
Role Call: Dorothy Scott as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
The Next Three Days (2010):
Details: Dir. Paul Haggis. Perf. Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson. Columbia, 1989.
Synopsis: A white male professor (Russell Crowe) sets out to break out his wife (Elizabeth Banks) out of prison, where she’s been wrongly convicted of murder. There’s a short sequence in the early part of the film set in a college library, where Crowe searches for books on prisons.
Role Call: Uncredited female as Librarian — Information Provider (female)
Related post:‘The next three’ seconds
Old Gringo (1989):
Details: Dir. Luiz Puenzo. Perf. Jane Fonda, Jimmy Smits, Gregory Peck. Columbia, 1989. Based on the novel by Carlos Fuentes.
Synopsis: A schoolteacher (Bridget Fonda) goes to Mexico to teach and gets kidnapped by General Arroyo (Jimmy Smits) and his revolutionaries. In an early scene, a white female librarian helps Fonda find books on the Spanish language. And in rare occurrence, the librarian gets shushed!
Role Call: Laurel Lyle as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
Related post:Shushing the ‘Old Gringo’ librarian
Ordeal by Innocence (1984):
Details: Dir. Desmond Davis. Perf. Donald Sutherland, Faye Dunaway, Christopher Plummer, Sarah Miles, Ian McShane. London-Cannon, 1984. Based on the novel by Agatha Christie.
Synopsis: Dr. Calgary (Donald Sutherland) returns to England and realizes he was the alibi for a man wrongly convicted and hanged for murder. He undergoes an investigation to discover the real killer. In one scene, he researches newspapers at the local library, and a librarian is visible in the background, checking out books and stamping cards.
Role Call: Uncredited female—Information Provider (female)
Paperback Romance, aka Lucky Break (1994):
Details: Dir. Ben Lewin. Perf. Gia Carides, Anthony LaPaglia, Marshall Napier, Jacek Koman. MGM, 1994.
Synopsis: Jewel thief Eddie (Anthony LaPaglia) overhears Sophie (Gia Carides) reading a romance novel she’s writing. She tries to hide that she suffers from polio, and romantic complications ensue. Sophie finds out Eddie’s work address from a librarian.
Role Call: Lynda Gibson as Carol—Information Provider (female)
Pickup on South Street (1953):
Details: Dir. Samuel Fuller. Perf. Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Richard Kiley, Thelma Ritter. 20th Century Fox, 1953.
Synopsis: This film noir classic includes a brief library scene that combines microfilm, a pickpocket, and the first African-American librarian portrayal on film -— all in less than a minute!
Role Call: Jaye Loft-Lyn as Microfilm Library Clerk-—Information Provider (male)
Related post:‘South Street’ librarian
Pretty in Pink (1986):
Details: Dir. Howard Deutch. Written by John Hughes. Perf. Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, Jon Cryer, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts. Paramount, 1986.
Synopsis: Classic ’80s high school drama. Andie (Molly Ringwald) likes Blane (Andrew McCarthy), while her best friend, Duckie (Jon Cryer) pines for Andie. There is a brief scene in the school library, in which Blane flirts with Andie via the school library’s computers. You can catch a brief glimpse of a school librarian, an older white woman, in the scene.
Role Call: Unlisted female as school librarian — Information Provider (female)
Related post:The school library in ‘Pretty in Pink’
A Promise (2013):
Details: Dir. Patrice Leconte. Perf. Richard Madden, Rebecca Hall, Alan Rickman. Fidélité Films, 2013. Based on the novel by Journey Into the Past by Stefan Zweig.
Synopsis: Set in 1912 in Germany, a young, hard-working man gains the trust and confidence of an older businessman — and then falls in love with the older man’s wife. There’s a very brief scene in the library in which the young man is researching resources about Mexico, and an older white male librarian rolls by with a cart of books.
Role Call: Uncredited male as librarian — Information Provider (male)
Related post: ‘A promise’ to a reel librarian
Rising Sun (1993):
Details: Dir. Philip Kaufman. Perf. Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. 20th Century Fox, 1993. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton.
Synopsis: To solve the crime of a young white woman found strangled in the L.A. headquarters of a Japanese corporation, an American-American male cop, Lt. Web Smith (Wesley Snipes), partners with John Connor (Sean Connery), a white male expert on Japanese culture. They delve into the seemingly seamy underworld of Japanese business etiquette. In one scene halfway through the film, Smith gets a tip that a weaselly investigator is digging up dirt on him at a newspaper library and enlisting the help of ‘Lilly the Librarian,’ a white woman we glimpse very briefly.
Role Call: Uncredited female as Lilly the Librarian — Information Provider (female); Uncredited female as another newspaper librarian or assistant — Information Provider (female)
Related post:Lilly the Librarian in ‘Rising Sun’
Details: Dir. David Anspaugh. Perf. Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty, Charles S. Dutton. TriStar, 1993. Based on a true story.
Synopsis: Rudy (Sean Astin), although a below-average white student with no natural athletic ability, has the determination and spirit to join the Notre Dame football team. In one short scene, the college librarian, an older white woman, wakes Rudy up as she closes the library, and it is apparent that this is a regular occurrence.
Role Call: Marie Anspaugh as Miss McKenzie—Information Provider (female)
Running on Empty (1988):
Details: Dir. Sidney Lumet. Perf. Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch, River Phoenix, Martha Plimpton. Warner Bros., 1988.
Synopsis: Two white Vietnam War protestors (Christine Lahti & Judd Hirsch) have spent the last 20 years running from the FBI, but their eldest son (River Phoenix) wants a life of his own. In a short scene, Hirsch goes to a library for newspaper articles, and a white female middle-aged librarian informs him about local newspapers on microfilm.
Role Call: Justine Johnston as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
Scream Blacula Scream (1973):
Details: Dir. Bob Kelljan. Perf. William Marshall, Pam Grier. American International, 1973.
Synopsis: In this sequel to Blacula, an ex-policeman investigates a series of suspicious deaths. The ex-policeman visits a library in one brief scene, and a white woman plays the librarian. Notable for one of the least convincing library sets on screen.
Role Call: Sybil Scotford as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
Related post: ‘Scream’ librarian ‘scream’
Shock Treatment (1964):
Details: Dir. Denis Sanders. Perf. Stuart Whitman, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowell, Lauren Bacall. 20th Century Fox, 1964. Based on the novel by Winfred Van Atta.
Synopsis: Private investigator Dale Nelson (Stuart Whitman) pretends to be a schizophrenic patient to get into a mental hospital; his real motive is to locate $1 million, hidden somewhere on the grounds. An early scene shows the P.I. walking up to the Los Angeles Public Library. The next shot cuts to Dale at the library counter, and the librarian begins reading the titles, which include Psychiatry in Relation to Crime and Cases of Schizophrenia. The white male librarian looks at Dale, raises an eyebrow and asks, “Are you going to read all these?” Dale smirks at the librarian and snaps, “No. I’m just going to look at the pictures.” SNAP.
Role Call: Harold Goodwin as Library Clerk (uncredited)—Information Provider (male)
The Snapper (1993):
Details: Dir. Stephen Frears. Perf. Colm Meaney, Tina Kellegher, Ruth McCabe. Miramax, 1993. Based on the novel by Roddy Doyle.
Synopsis: A young white Irish woman (Tina Kellegher), still living with her parents and siblings, finds out she’s pregnant. Her family and the whole town try to figure out the baby’s father. Toward the end of the film, the girl’s father (Colm Meaney) checks out a book about women and pregnancy for himself at the library, but he tells the librarian, “It’s for the wife.”
Role Call: Uncredited female—Information Provider (female)
Somewhere in Time (1980):
Details: Dir. Jeannot Szwarc. Perf. Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer, Teresa Wright. Universal, 1980. Based on the novel by Richard Matheson.
Synopsis: A time-travel romance in which a white male Chicago playwright (Christopher Reeve) uses self-hypnosis to go back in time and meet the love of his life (Seymour), a white actress from the turn of the century. In one scene, Reeve convinces a reluctant librarian, a young African-American woman, to bring him some out-of-date magazines so he can research the actress.
Role Call: Noreen Walker as Librarian—Information Provider (female)
Related post: ‘Somewhere’ in the library
Straight Talk (1992):
Details: Dir. Barnet Kellman. Perf. Dolly Parton, James Woods, Griffin Dunne, Michael Madsen. Hollywood Pictures, 1992.
Synopsis: A white woman (Dolly Parton) leaves her boyfriend (Michael Madsen) and small town to move to Chicago, where by accident, she becomes a radio host. While job-hunting, she inquires about a position at the public library, where the white female librarian looks down at her—and her spike heels—and slowly says, “I… don’t… think… so.”
Role Call: Susan Philpot as Librarian—Comic Relief (female)
Details: Dir. Andrew Fleming. Perf. Lara Flynn Boyle, Stephen Baldwin, Josh Charles. TriStar, 1994.
Synopsis: Three white college roommates (Lara Flynn Boyle, Stephen Baldwin & Josh Charles) explore their sexuality in this dramedy. In one brief scene, Boyle writhes around on a library table while Charles reads aloud a book—and an older white woman, presumably a librarian, exclaims, “Oh my!” (It is not clear whether her expression is one of disapproval or of secret excitement.)
Role Call: Anna Marie O’Donnell as Lady at Library—Comic Relief (female)
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018):
Details: Dir. Susan Johnson. Perf. Lana Condor, Noah Centineo, John Corbett. Netflix, 2018. Based on the novel by Jenny Han.
Synopsis: An Asian-American teen, Lara Jean (Lana Condor), has to deal with the romantic complications that ensue after her secret love letters are exposed. There is a brief school library scene early in the film, in which Lara Jean breaks the silence rule — but it’s not the reel librarian, an older Asian woman, who enforces the silence rule, but rather fellow students!
Role Call: An uncredited woman as the school librarian — Information Provider (female)
Details: Dir. Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman. Perf. Jim Harris, Carol Drake, Carol Bevar. Troma Entertainment, 1981.
Synopsis: Plot follows different young women working as waitresses, including one white woman trying to make it as an actress and another trying to make it as a writer in New York City. One short scene about a half-hour into the film takes place in the public library. An older white woman plays the librarian in this scene.
Role Call: Lola Ross as Librarian — Spinster Librarian / Comic Relief (female)
Related post: ‘Waitress!’ Librarian! Action!
Details: Dir. John Badham. Perf. Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, John Wood, Dabney Coleman. United Artists, 1983.
Synopsis: David, a computer whiz (Matthew Broderick) and young white man, hacks into a computer game system, accidentally starting World War III. Is it a simulation, or a real-life crisis? A library research montage reveals how David discovers the secret password into the computer system. A reel librarian, a white woman, is seen very briefly in this montage scene.
Role Call: Uncredited female as an academic librarian — Information Provider (female)
With Honors (1994):
Details: Dir. Alek Keshishian. Perf. Joe Pesci, Brendan Fraser, Moira Kelly, Patrick Dempsey. Warner Bros., 1994.
Synopsis: Uptight Harvard student Monty (Brendan Fraser) accidentally drops the only copy of his thesis down a grate, where it lands in the library’s boiler room. Monty discovers a bum, Simon Wilder (Joe Pesci), who holds the thesis hostage and turns Monty’s life upside down. In one scene at the Widener Library, Simon talks loudly, and an older white female librarian tells him he can’t stay there; she reflects the negative social attitude toward homeless people. Monty vouches for him, and the librarian immediately apologizes and walks away. In another brief scene, Monty studies in the library during the Christmas holidays, and in the background, the library staff members, who seem to be predominately white women, quietly share gifts with each other.
Role Call: Patricia B. Butcher as Librarian; Three uncredited females and one uncredited male—all Information Providers
Related post: With or without honors