There are numerous movies which feature galleries, libraries, archives and museums and the people working in these institutions. There were also documentaries and studies exploring what are the images captured and delivered in movies. A popular one about the libraries is ‘The Hollywood Librarian’ released back in 2007. Those who have seen the documentary probably would remember one of the impressive summaries on the spread of library services:
“They have more cardholders than VISA, more customers than Amazon, and more outlets than McDonald’s. Meet America’s librarians.”(from ‘The Hollywood Librarian’, 2007).
‘The Hollywood Librarian’ brings together fragments from movies looking at the stereotypes of the profession, but also personal stories of professionals. It is one of the professions which is frequently featured in movies, and unfortunately it is really capture for what it is. The last example I have seen recently is from the Disney’s animation Soul. When Soul 22 is trying to find out what could be exciting in his/her future life, s/he is prompted it may like libraries. And this unborn soul is quick to answer “Who wouldn’t like working at a thankless job you are always in danger to use due to budget cuts?
In the last years the libraries were extremely busy with implementing an immense range of educational programmes. They are instrumental in introducing skills and providing access to innovative technologies. They are defining and implementing digital transformation. And they were extremely entrepreneurial in adapting their services to the pandemics conditions.
It is sad to be so deeply immersed in the cliche of a thankless and repetitive job. But let’s hope that more of the future souls would be seeing libraries as places of inspiration, creativity and innovation.