Read On! Pop Culture Libraries


I love when the shows and movies we watch or the books we read include visits to the library. It’s fun to see my profession and my passion reflected in popular culture. It’s also fun to complain about what they get wrong or preen about how some visits to the library help the heroes and change the course of the story.

My daughter loves the “Trolls” show on Netflix. Yesterday, we got to see the Trolls’ library. This library is a good example of how library collections should be tailored to the needs and interests of their community. Only in the Trolls’ library would you find so many book on hugs!

When “Stranger Things” first came out, the library community was abuzz about the portrayal of the librarian, Marissa. My biggest quibble was that the excursion into the library’s microfilm newspaper collection did not remotely reflect real life. Anyone who has searched microfilm knows that without a clear idea of dates, microfilm research takes a million years to complete.

“Desk Set, ” “Ghostbusters,” and the “Harry Potter” movies may be some of the most famous library examples in movies but they’re not my favorites.

I adore the movie “Party Girl” where Parker Posey works as a library assistant (side note:”Party Girl” was the first movie shown in its entirety on the internet). In “The Shawshank Redemption,” Andy Dufresne builds quite a prison library. It offers education opportunities and figurative escape to its patrons, which is just one reason to love that movie. In “Matilda,” Matilda discovers she is not alone through her time at her local library – a vital discovery for everyone.

These three movies are my favorite library movies because they demonstrate the hope libraries can offer to their community members. Libraries make lives better and these three movies show that fact well.