The Hollywood Librarian Needs You

By Teresa Koltzenburg | "This film will increase the public's awareness of the complex and democratic nature of librarianship in the age of technology, and be a step toward librarians redefining themselves as not only more than a stereotype, but also as a cultural imperative."—The Hollywood Librarian: Librarians in Cinema and Society Web Site

Librarian-turned-filmmaker Ann Seidl says her documentary project is "making tremendous progress...since March 2005, we have filmed in Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin, and California," she reports.

Although this blog's content is largely circumscribed to the library technology realm, after reading Ann's thoughtful e-mail message (forwarded to the unit managers here at ALA) and visiting the Hollywood Librarian site, I was struck by how much this film could add to the momentum of the current library movement—through the technological publishing efforts of Bibliobloggers like Jenny, Michael, Karen, Sarah, Bill, Meredith, and the many, many more working for the movement)—via the technology of moviemaking!

Despite being able to garner funding ($85,000) from foundations, Ann and her crew need additional monies. "Our film crew is now off for the month of October while we pause and review the footage, consider what still needs to be filmed (I have a list of dozens of librarians in different libraries but we can't do it all), and get ready for our next shoot in November."

Ann continues, "I continue to explore foundations which fund documentary work, which although it is time-consuming and highly competitive, I'm sure will yield something down the road. I am also working on Federal grants, although they usually require matching funds. In the meantime, we need some more money in the budget. So, I am looking for 2,000 librarians and librarian lovers who want to contribute $50 to the film budget. Will you be one?"

Ann and her crew have "met many, many librarians who want to be part of this historic and monumental librarian film project," adding that they are very moved by the support and generosity they've received.

Ann also notes that any funds donated will be well spent. "Please be assured that not a penny of the film's budget is wasted or used frivolously. We librarians deserve a first-rate film, and we are getting it. This documentary is being shot on high-definition film with a Panasonic Vericam, by an experienced cameraman and sound designer. It will be edited by a top-notch editor with state-of-the-art digital editing technology. Your contribution will go toward buying film stock, travel costs, salaries for the film crew (my salary is 95% deferred at this point), tape dubbing, equipment rentals, and to begin the copyright clearance process."

If you are interested in helping, you can donate at