those subversive librarians

May 11th, 2007 | Uncategorized

Here’s a real movie for you. The trailer for The Hollywood Librarian, an amazing film being made by Ann Seidl, a sometime poster to this very blog.

It’ll be premiering at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in D.C. at the end of June. Here’s the Hollywood Librarian site.

44 Responses to “those subversive librarians”

  1. Alex K says:

    I’m in a library.

    Its internet access policy won’t let me watch the trailer.

  2. Feminista says:

    This looks like a movie to put on my “to see” list.

    Re subversive librarians: I remember Michael Moore speaking about one of his books which the publisher wanted to put into the “to be pulped” pile. A librarian heard about this,ordered the book in question,and demand for the book rose. The publisher changed his mind and the book sold well.

  3. Yes, my post heading was an allusion to Moore’s quote: “[Librarians] are subversive. You think they’re just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They’re like plotting the revolution, man.” —Michael Moore,, March 13, 2002

  4. tallie says:

    oh man! that looks so great!!!

  5. hillrepute says:

    Librarians are so hot.

  6. Librarian Grrl says:

    As a lurking librarian, I must say that we librarians are here to serve your information needs! So glad to see this film. Thanks for sharing Alison! I’m a medical librarian so hadn’t heard about this yet. I won’t be at the ALA annual conference but will look for it elsewhere.

  7. Deb says:

    Thank the goddess someone is plotting the revolution! Gret clip!

  8. cranky librarian says:

    Activist Librarianship: Heritage or Heresy?
    by Ann Sparanese

  9. shadocat says:

    Hmmm…I always thought making Mary (in “It’s A Wonderful Life”) was a way of saying “lesbian”–as if she would be one if George Bailey hadn’t been born.

    I’m still waiting for the “treatise”, or “manifesto”, or whayever you’re going to call it; is it still coming?

  10. shadocat says:

    oops—that should be “whatever”

  11. Liberry Geek says:

    Ann Siedl was the keynote speaker at the 2004 (I think, bad with dates) West Virginia Library Association Conference. She was a dynamic, charismatic speaker, and the film clips she showed were alternately funny, touching, and thought-provoking. She stayed at the conference and went to a few sessions. Very cool woman.

    I’m so glad she is able to release the film. See it!

  12. Ann S in Madison says:

    Yay! Ann here, SOOOO happy with your post, Alison. Thanks for sharing your blogspace with my project. Thanks also to your lovely wimmin for your comments ~ it’s so thrilling! Liberry Geek, you rock — that was a great conference at that nice resort in the hills.

    Here’s another video about the “making of” stuff, with me meeting Martin Scorsese and Ray Bradbury (Bradbury is in the final picture, Scorsese isn’t.)

    My sound engineer and composer are completing the final sound mix and score in Florida. I fly down next Thursday to see and hear the whole thing for the first time!! My baby lives!

  13. nic h says:

    stop putting up youtube links.
    I dont come up for air unless im grabbed by the scruff of the neck and hauled out.

  14. nic h says:

    there are some sexy librarians out there….( am I allowed to say that?)

  15. Eva says:

    Wow! This movie looks hot! That last clip with the woman saying “I don’t just shelve books” made me shiver. Whooee.

    Fuck yeah, nic h you can say some librarians are sexy I think)! But seriously, is the question about appropriate comments for the sight, or you in general?

  16. Ruth says:

    Great clip, Alison. I’m usually a lurky on this blog, but I just had to thank you publically for your continuing loyalty to all things library. I’ve given up on objecting to every shushing-librarian joke I hear. I’m always heartened to see you championing the cause.

  17. mlk says:

    Alex K, I’m in the library too and was thankful that 1) Columbus Metro allows patrons to watch the video and 2) it had some written content so I didn’t miss EVERYTHING by watching the silent version.

    nic h, librarians will probably be pleased to have their sexiness acknowledged so yeah, go ahead! I recall more than one male librarian shown and several races represented (maybe only 2?) — anyway, think it’s safe to say there’s “something for everyone” who’s looking for a librarian to love. what’s not permissable here?

  18. Ruth says:

    lurky? I meant lurker. Maybe I should go back to lurking.

  19. NLC says:

    nic h: there are some sexy librarians out there…

    and speaking as one married to a one, I heartily concur

  20. sunicarus says:

    Librarians rock! Thanks, Alison for the movie clip.

    Just for fun…


  21. Lydia says:

    “Librarians Sometimes Behave Badly”

    A college roommate was a library science major. One day, after drinking a few too many at the Kollege Klub (Madison–) he grasped his beer glass and smashed it upon the edge of the bar while shouting, “Let them think DIFFERENTLY of librarians!!!

    Can’t wait to see this film. Thanks for posting the youtube link.

  22. Gretchen says:

    Thanks so much for getting the word out about this, and thanks to Ann Seidl for fighting the good fight. Just the trailer cheered me up before leaving for a stint at the reference desk on a beautiful afternoon!

    I’m a college librarian, and I often help students who are doing research on GLBT culture and history. One of my great challenges has been pulling students away from relying on the New York Times, etc. as “primary sources,” towards grassroots sources like Gay Community News and Sojourner. This requires them to detach from the computer and follow me into the dark regions of the microtext room, so it’s a hard sell, but once I’ve got them, they’re hooked. I have a much higher success rate at pitching the DTWOF series. One of my prouder accomplishments was getting our set of the books library bound, despite some resistance due to the expense. I argued that it’s the best cultural record we have of the lesbian feminist movement (not to mention that it seems like my own story sometimes).

    The other day, a graduating senior bounded up to me and said she’d heard I’d gotten a new class hooked on DTWOF- she was speaking of a Graphic Narratives class in the English Department. Then she said, “You know, I think it’s the best document of the history of the community that’s out there.” I was so proud. Then when I asked her if she was planning on seeing Joan Armatrading when she comes to town later this month, I had to go back into sage librarian mode because she’d never heard of her…clearly, my work here isn’t finished.

    So, thanks for everything, including putting the old strips online!

  23. Jennifer says:

    Librarians make us better people.

  24. --MC says:

    Hey Alison, and others: there’s a great article in this week’s NYT Magazine about how musicians and other artists are dealing with web fandom. They mostly talk about how the artists cope with having to deal with large and vociferous fandoms, how it becomes more difficult to cope, to devote as much time as they used to. That sort of thing.

  25. Josiah says:

    Folks might also be interested in this article from the Christian Science Monitor about the first graduating class from the Center for Cartoon Studies. On the second page, the journalist writes:

    “And the professionals who pass through as guest lecturers – as many as 15 a semester – are luminaries of the comics world. Mr. Spiegelman. Chris Ware. Alison Bechdel.”

    It’s great to see Alison included in her rightful place among the literati of comics.

  26. Finsbury Parker says:

    –MC, is the NYT article available online?

  27. Aunt Soozie says:

    I have fond memories of the librarians from the children’s department of my local library and from my elementary school library. I loved those women…Mrs. Menaker and Mrs. Rienhardt.

    My daughter recently asked what kind of education is required to become a librarian. I told her about library science and tried not to let on how excited I was that she asked the question. with as little affect as possible (for me) I asked, “why? Are you thinking of becoming a librarian?”
    “No, it’s just for a book I’m writing.”

  28. Aunt Soozie says:

    and Ann S.,
    that’s one hot trailer.

  29. --MC says:

    Finsbury, the link is here, courtesy of goodmember David in Cambridge (see previous thread):

  30. Alex the Bold says:

    A question for Mo, the Librarian!

    Dear Mo,

    Can you suggest some titles for those of us who want to learn more about the whole feminism/corporate greed/racism/etc. cycle that the strip tackles? You know, some good stuff, not the poorly written goop!

  31. sunicarus says:

    Alex the Bold~

    Perhaps Mo would suggest the following:

    “For Her Own Good” by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English & Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Anything by bell hooks
    “The Politics of Women’s Bodies” by Rose Weitz
    “The Gendered Society” by Michael S. Kimmel
    Just a start….Hmm..Wonder what Mo will suggest?

  32. LondonBoy says:

    I can’t remember if I ever posted this link, but this seems like an appropriate place to do so…

  33. --MC says:

    Me, I spaded up a copy of “Sisterhood is Powerful” (Robin Morgan, ed., 1971) at a yard sale and am reading that.

  34. geogeek says:

    I wanted to be a librarian through about early high school,when I started getting absorbed in other disciplines. The highlight of 5th grade was getting to be a library aide!

    On the contrarian side, I wish more librarians _would_ hush people. I don’t mind the occasional kid voice raised in “Look, Mama!” excitement, but everyone seems to think it’s okay to use regular speaking voices now. It’s not that hard to just speak quietly, no whispering necessary! I’m really distracted by the noise, and the librarians themselves seem to speak extra loudly in some libraries…

  35. Jana C.H. says:

    Geogeek– You and me both! The wonderful new branch library in my neighborhood actually has a specially-posted “Quiet Room” (with uncomfortable chairs), as if the entire library weren’t expected to be quiet. What they need is to have a special “Loud Room” with uncomfortable chairs, and keep the rest of the library properly shushed.

    That said, I have to confess that the Ballard library is rarely noisy, and almost all the chairs are uncomfortable, especially if you’re 4’10”.

    Be sure to check out the Deluxe Librarian Action Figure with Amazing Shushing Action at Archie McPhee’s, another establishment in my neighborhood.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith The Old Ballardian: Hurra for Syttende Mai!

  36. E.B.-Brooklyn says:

    Amazing! A surprising number of my friends are either librarians or, in school on their way to becoming’s weird.
    I know that this isn’t the right place to put this but since I can’t send an email this is the only space left.
    I just have one question:
    why, Alison, are you doing a signing at Bunns and Noodles in New York?? I am confused.

  37. DeLandDeLakes says:

    I LOVE the hip-hop flavor that permeates the trailer, not just in the music but in the title cards as well- I love the idea of librarians throwing down about their skills!

    Coincidentally, there is a woman in this trailer who looks just like my SO’s mom, who is also a children’s librarian.

  38. sunicarus says:

    Librarians have mad skillz, indeed!

  39. Ann S. in Madison says:

    Jennifer, Gretchen, Aunt Soozie, all of you, thank you so very much for your warm response to my trailer.

    Could I ask one favor? Could you take a minute and post your comments at the youtube site, under the video? I would love the world to see your comments, which apply to all librarians, of which I am one, very proud, member.

    BTW, more at my blog. My audio diary is posted there, too.

  40. C. Resmer says:

    Jessamyn West is my favorite subversive librarian. She made a video last week in which she installs open source operating system Ubuntu on three library computers in rural Vermont (as opposed to installing Windows, for example). I sent it to Boing Boing and when they posted it, Cory Doctorow called Jessamyn an “internet folk hero.”

  41. cranky librarian says:

    if you have librarian friends, chances are they already have three librarian action figures, and that they resent the idea that the world thinks they went into debt to get a graduate degree to learn how to tell people to shut up.

    i don’t know if nancy pearl is allowed to comment on the offensiveness of the “shushing action.” i wish she would.

    as for sexy librarian role models, this is the one i’m partial to:

  42. Ann S. in Madison says:

    That link of mine is to:

  43. --MC says:

    Crankeleh, according to a Seattle Times story (referenced on Wikipedia), “Pearl herself said that the shushing aspect of the action figure would determine ‘which librarians have a sense of humor.’ ”
    In researching this my mind was blown by the Nancy Pearl Action Figure Photo Pool:

  44. erin says:

    Ann Seidl rocks.