Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Libraries in Pop Culture

Just in time for winter break, NPR re-aired one of my favorite stories of the year:  “Libraries' Leading Roles: On Stage, On Screen and In Song.” Listen to the NPR podcast or read the transcript online for a delightful tour through libraries in pop culture.

Here are some of the titles mentioned in the story (some link to locations in Holman Library and others to IMDB): The films It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed and Desk Set with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; television episodes on Star Trek (“All Our Yesterdays”) and Doctor Who (a planet sized library filled with biographies); fiction, including Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Jorge Luis Borges’, The Library of Babel, and the classics, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,  A Canticle for Leibowitz, and one of my favorites, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose; and music from Jimmy Buffet (“Love in the Library”) and Tori Amos (Tales of a Librarian).

Libraries and librarians feature in many other great or just plain fun titles. The library at Hogwarts is as magical a place as any in the Harry Potter books. The librarian figures as cultural hero in the children’s book, The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq. I loved Parker Posey’s off-beat librarian in the 1995 indie film, Party Girl. And of course, there’s the iconic Marion the Librarian, of the musical The Music Man. When else would a librarian’s name be set to rhyme with carrion?

You can read/listen to other stories in NPR’s Library series.

Meredith Willson's The Music Man starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth (2003). Part Eight. You Tube. 12/10/13/. 
No copyright infringement intended.

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