The 2009 movie version of The Time Traveler’s Wife stars Eric Bana as a librarian at Chicago’s Newberry Library. His genetic disorder causes him to time travel.
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:29PM
Oak Park — This September, we’re celebrating library card sign-up month with “Love Your Library! Show Your Card!”
Our partner businesses have special offers for our cardholders and we encourage you to share your love of the library at oppl.org/love.
To continue this love fest, we thought we’d look at librarians we love on the big screen. From the fearless Alicia Hull to the elusive Henry DeTamble, check out these librarians on DVD or Blu-Ray from the library.
Bette Davis plays Alicia Hull, a librarian and outspoken community member, in “Storm Center” (1956). The heroine stands her ground, refusing to withdraw a controversial library book, The Communist Dream, despite pressure from local politicians. After a lot of chaos, the library goes up in flames. In a memorable scene, Hull proclaims: “I’m going to help rebuild this library. And if anybody ever again tries to remove a book from it, he’ll have to do it over my dead body!” We always love to see a librarian defending our freedom to read.
“Desk Set” (1958) showcases Katharine Hepburn as lighthearted librarian Bunny Watson. It was a movie first when a computer was introduced as an aid to library research. “Desk Set” is my personal favorite librarian movie because of its focus on a classic issue, juxtaposing machine and man. “Well, in this case, woman,” points out my librarian colleague Ed O’Brien. But yes, here’s a librarian embracing new information technology.
Perhaps the most memorable librarian role of all time is Shirley Jones cast as darling Marian Paroo in “The Music Man” (1962). Who can forget Harold Hill (Robert Preston) serenading her as “Marian, the Librarian” through some great choreography in the library. And she sang a lovely rendition of “Till There was You.” At long last, a real romantic working in the library.
“Party Girl” (1995), with Parker Posey as Mary, is a contemporary favorite for many. Mary throws terrific, but unfortunately illegal, parties in New York City until she gets thrown in jail. To pay back the bail to her librarian godmother, she works alongside her as a library clerk. At first Mary hates it, but she is later empowered by the work and becomes a great clerk, all the while keeping her sassy fashion sense and cute falafel vendor.
Finally, consider Henry DeTamble in the quirky 2009 movie version of The Time Traveler’s Wife. Gorgeous Eric Bana plays a librarian at Chicago’s Newberry Library. His genetic disorder causes him to time travel, each time arriving at his new destination without his clothes. Librarians have certainly come a long way in how they’re portrayed on the big screen.
Have more librarians you love? Buffy’s Rupert Giles, anyone? Let us know.
Karen Stoner is a library assistant and customer service person at the Oak Park Public Library.