Libraries in Movies

by Courtney Butler, Head Editor, INALJ Idaho

Libraries in Movies

CourtneyButlerI love doing movie marathons – especially themed ones. I was recently thinking of doing such a themed marathon to commemorate my official entrance into the library profession post-degree and voilà! I came up with a list of my five favorite movies that involve libraries, books, and archives. They are as follows:

Beauty and the Beast

Ah, Belle, the quintessential bookworm. What a lucky lady. Not only does she read so much that her local librarian decides to start gifting her favorite books to her but the love of her life ends up giving her a massive, gorgeous library just to show he appreciates her. I make sure to point that out every time I watch this movie with my fiancé.

The Pagemaster

A timid McCauley Culkin stumbles into a library to shelter from a storm. He hits his head and gets knocked unconscious only to be turned into a cartoon character that befriends book versions of Whoopi Goldberg, Patrick Stewart, and many others. His new book friends eventually help him discover his inner courage through a series of adventures that resemble classic stories. Between the cast, the whimsical humor, and the implication that all you need is a little imagination to have all kinds of adventures makes this one of my faaaaavorite movies of all time.

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines, & The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice

Sure, these made-for-TV movies are pretty corny, but they were also pretty fun. Plus, the question “So do you hunt for treasure and fight bad guys just like in that Noah Wyle movie?” ranks right up there next to “Why do you need a Master’s degree to shelve books?” in the category of ‘questions I get asked most often when people find out I have an MLS’.

Shawshank Redemption

When the main character/prisoner is assigned to work in the prison library, he finds nothing more than a back room filled with a few worn out, outdated, unorganized books. He spends years building it up into a very up-to-date and useful space. Doing so involves spending years lobbying government officials for more money – something many of us can relate to, amirite?

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Okay, so the archives reference in this one is actually incredibly brief, but I still love the sassy librarian’s line: “If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist!” I’ve had days like that too, space librarian lady.

There are many, many more great movies with library/librarian/reading/book/archives references. What are some of your favorites? Desk Set? The Day after Tomorrow? Party Girl? The Mummy? The Music Man? Others?

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