ALA
Contact: Mark Gould
Director, PIO
312-280-5042
mgould@ala.org
 
For Immediate Release
May 9, 2007

 

Annual Conference attendees will be the stars at premiere of “The Hollywood Librarian”

 

(CHICAGO) — Librarians, it’s your turn on the carpet — not the one in the boss’s office, the red one they roll out for VIPs.

 

Those attending the American Library Association (ALA) 2007 Annual Conference June 21-27 in Washington, D.C., are invited to the world premiere of the first full-length film to focus on the work and lives of librarians.

 

The showing of "The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Film" will be held Friday, June 22, at 8 p.m., Washington Convention Center Hall D. Doors will open at 7:30, and librarians will be the stars in a traditional Hollywood-style red-carpet walk. The event is free, but attendees must have a conference or exhibits badge or be the guest of a person with a badge. Black tie is optional.

 

Written and directed by Ann Seidl, the documentary may hold some surprises even for librarians. Dozens of interviews with real librarians will be interwoven with movie clips of cinematic librarians and will serve as transitions between the themes of censorship, intellectual freedom, children and librarians, pay equity and funding issues and the value of reading.

 

The film also features an interview with author Ray Bradbury, who is famous for (among other things) his support of libraries.

 

This is the first film for Seidl, who holds an MLIS from the University of Denver and is owner and principal of Information, Managed, a library consulting business that provides library research and geographic information systems analysis products to public libraries and systems. She says it may also be her last.

 

“I am a librarian, not a filmmaker,” Seidl said in an interview in May. She says she has spent much of the past five years contacting film professionals, writing and refining the screenplay, screening hundreds of films with scenes or references to librarians, assembling the film’s advisory board and speaking with library audiences about her project.

 

“For the last several months I have been working at least 10 to 12 hours a day on the film,” she said.

 

The Carnegie Corporation of New York supported the project with grants in 2005 and 2006, and Seidl says she has also raised $25,000 from individual librarians — “that’s the money I am most proud of.”

 

Seidl plans to enter “The Hollywood Librarian” in film festivals and possibly to distribute it in one or two commercial settings. But her real hope is that local librarians themselves will show the film, either in their libraries or in a rented space. “That way the public gets to see the film, and the money will go to the local libraries,” she said.

 

The documentary “will increase the public’s awareness of the complex and democratic nature of librarianship in the age of technology,” Seidl says on the film’s Website, “and be a step toward librarians redefining themselves as not only more than a stereotype, but also as a cultural imperative.”

 

“The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Film” is an Overdue Productions film made in association with Bi-Folkal Productions, a non-profit organization with 30 years of service to libraries.  To see a trailer, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8kd4fC1bwo.