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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Doesn't live up to its title, but an OK film

6/10
Author: zabakly from Australia
25 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a librarian and quite enjoyed this documentary. About time a film like this was made, emphasizing the importance of libraries and the work librarians do. This wasn't really a serious attempt to analyze the image of the librarian in Hollywood films/TV. Why did they leave out Kramer's librarian love interest and Bookman the 'library cop' from that 'Seinfeld' episode? I found the efforts to save the Salinas library quite moving and it would have been a shame to see the libraries close. I also liked the bit about the convicts raising money to save the library! People tend to take libraries and librarians and the work they do for granted, watch this film and may you think again. Where would you be without a library or librarian?

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Has Little to Nothing to Do With Its Title

5/10
Author: gillianmadeira from United States
14 December 2009

There is a great deal of information in this movie, some of it fascinating. On the other hand, it is, for the most part, not what the title actually tells us it's going to be. And, at that, one of the longest film clips is Elizabeth Taylor chewing Egyptian scenery at Rex Harrison, and she certainly wasn't playing a librarian at the time. The film has no framework. It isn't just that it isn't really talking about librarians in Hollywood. It's that it goes all over the place, from Andrew Carnegie to the PATRIOT Act. Any of these topics could have made a good documentary. This one isn't it.

Now, if you're going to get anyone to talk about the importance of books and libraries, Ray Bradbury's a good place to start, especially since his classic book about censorship was written at a rented library typewriter. (Lo, these many years ago, when there were typewriters!) And it's neat to know that Katharine Hepburn's sister was a librarian. It's just that neither of those really have anything to do with film except tangentially.

Also, and this may just be the copy I have, it seems that it was put into fullscreen by just cutting off the edges. There is literally no place in the film where text on the screen is entirely, well, on screen.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Finally we see real librarians and libraries as the leading stars in a film.

10/10
Author: makinhappy
1 January 2010

This is a documentary film about librarians and libraries. How do you separate them? Simple, you don't.

The subject is huge and I think Ann Seidl did a wonderful job compacting the first and only documentary about librarians/libraries, (that I know of), into a 96 minute love story of what they do, where they do it, who defends them, who subscribes to them, who they impact and the disastrous image that media has imprinted on our minds about them, namely Hollywood. Ann makes it clear that Hollywood got it wrong. Librarians are pretty much just like you and I, funky, happening, real, innovative and smart.

In the film, there is a woman in red, who claims that libraries represent freedom, amongst a few other interesting remarks, this is one of the many important messages this film tries to relay. There are a few images of libraries being destroyed and books burning. I sensed an underlying theme about information control and how we should be wary of the players.

The film's central theme was easy to follow, even for me, a non-librarian, from the written word to books to libraries to librarians to how incredibly misinformed we are about these people who do their jobs so well that they almost become invisible to us. We are treated to interviews along the way and exposed to what the media has misrepresented about librarians and libraries. We also learn just how important they are to us when we realize we may lose them. To put it bluntly, this film was long overdue, (excuse the pun).

I also saw this film at a screening for librarians and it got a standing ovation. It is not the only standing ovation I have heard of and I think, it will not be the last. However, reviews and reviewers are fickle, don't take anyone's word for it or even mine, see it and decide for yourself!

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