Your Life Work: The Librarian
An episode of US Government film series on careers. I assume it was shown to high school students. This one was filmed at the Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) library in 1946.
Tags: library librarian iowa career history
Added: 4 years ago
Vocational Guidance Films, Inc. Presents Your Life Work Series
Manuscript by Arthur P. Twogood, professor vocational education, Iowa State College
[camera pans across a bookshelf]
NARRATOR: These racks and shelves contain a lot of books. Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions. How do you feel about them? Do they mean something to you? Are they your friends? Have you a real love of books and learning? You do? That's good.
[cut to a table where several people are sitting and reading books]
NARRATOR: Now, do you like people, and do people like you? Do you like all kinds of people? The young as well as the old? People in all stations of life? You do? That's wonderful.
[cut to an elderly female librarian talking to two patrons at the front desk]
NARRATOR: Because, when you have these two important qualifications, love for books and love for people, you may well consider the vocation of a librarian. A vocation that gives full enjoyment to the librarian, and radiates it to the public.
[cut to a group of children sitting at a table]
NARRATOR: The public. That may consist of children with an awakening interest in literature ...
[cut to a room where several men are studying]
NARRATOR: Or professional men searching for special scientific information.
[cut to a man reading Braille]
NARRATOR: Or the blind, who do their reading by touch.
[cut to young children gathering at a bookmobile]
NARRATOR: Or people of rural areas, whose library is brought to them on wheels.
[cut to a young male patron talking to an older female librarian]
NARRATOR: Yes, there are many aspects to this worthwhile occupation. All of vital importance in the nation's life.
[scene fades, then changes to the exterior of the Library of Congress]
NARRATOR: Let us consider some of the various types of libraries, and start with the greatest of all ... The Library of Congress, which is located in Washington, DC.
[cut to various shots inside the Library of Congress]
NARRATOR: One of the largest in the world, this library, established in 1800, is relatively new when compared with those of some European countries.
[cut to a male patron looking at a manuscript with a magnifying glass]
NARRATOR: Serious scholars may use its excellent facilities and wonderful collection of more than five million books and manuscripts.
[cut to more shots inside the Library of Congress]
NARRATOR: This truly national library extends research and other services to members of Congress, the government departments, and to the public.
[cut back to the exterior shot of the Library of Congress]
NARRATOR: The many different libraries in our country have various functions, depending on their location. Each one has to answer a specific need.
[cut to various shots of different libraries]
NARRATOR: Therefore, a modest rural library must be different from a city library, offering a multitude of services to meet the needs of a great variety of persons. The specialized library, in an industrial plant is different from the one owned by a law firm.
[cut to a young female librarian handing a male patron a book]
NARRATOR: But, although libraries differ, basically the task of the individual librarian remains the same. Bringing books and people together.
[cut to various female librarians filing index cards]
NARRATOR: The largest number of librarians are found in five general classifications ... First, we may mention the catalogers, who usually work behind the scenes. They organize and interpret library collections for you readers.
[cut to a young male patron approaching an older female librarian at the front desk]
NARRATOR: Here is an illustration of what proper cataloging can accomplish.
MALE PATRON: I'm looking for a book on television, but ... uh, I forgot--
FEMALE LIBRARIAN 1: Do you know the author?
MALE PATRON: No I don't, and I don't know the title either ... but it's a blue book, and it kind of gives the whole story. You know.
FEMALE LIBRARIAN 1: I think we can help you.
[cut to a closeup of the index card for the book "An introduction to television" by Clarence John Hylander (621.388)]
NARRATOR: This boy's problem was not an unusual one. He did not know the author's name, nor did he remember the title of the book. But he knew the subject, television. Because the cataloger did a good job, the book was easily located, and the boy was further encouraged to use the library facilities.
[cut to the librarian handing him his book, so he turns and walks away]
NARRATOR: Proper book evaluation and careful research render a great service to the patrons.
[cut to another female librarian answering the phone]
NARRATOR: Second, there are the reference librarians, who help readers in their search for special information.
PATRON OVER THE PHONE 1: Through your books on China, can you help me identify the dating of some old Chinese bronzes?
[cut to a male librarian answering the phone]
PATRON OVER THE PHONE 2: I'm starting on a new project on radar. Could you compile a bibliography on this subject for me?
NARRATOR: The reference librarians locate various materials through their familiarity with the contents of the library, a very important money- and time-saving service to the public.
[cut to a young female librarian checking out books for two patrons]
NARRATOR: Third, we have the circulation librarian, who organizes and supervises the distribution of books. By the way, this job belongs to a classification which does not necessarily require college training.
[cut to a female librarian reading a book to two children]
NARRATOR: Fourth, we have librarians who serve the young people, much the same as adults are served, except that the childrens' levels of interest are emphasized. Each child is looked upon as an individual, whose reading habits are in the formative period.
[cut to an exterior shot of a college library]
NARRATOR: Fifth, there are the school librarians, who contribute to the educational programs of their schools.
[cut to an older female librarian helping a male college student]
NARRATOR: College and university libraries employ special staffs for the work of research, cataloging, reference, and circulation, just as do the large public libraries.
[cut to a young female librarian handing a book to a male student sitting at a table]
NARRATOR: The large public schools generally employ special librarians to assist the pupils in finding suitable books. During free reading periods, the librarian attempts to direct the young reader's interest into approved and worthwhile channels. A challenging and rewarding job.
[cut to a female librarian sitting at the front desk of a school library, handing books to her student worker]
NARRATOR: In the smaller schools, the library is usually under the supervision and direction of a teacher-librarian.
[a young female teacher walks in and hands the student worker some more books]
NARRATOR: Pupils working during free periods generally handle circulation. However, under such a plan, the library personnel changes from period to period, with little opportunity for individuals to really understand library work.
[cut to shots of the various librarian positions previously discussed]
NARRATOR: Up til now, we have discussed the jobs that must be done in every library. So far we've mentioned the catalogers, the reference librarians, the circulation, children, and school librarians.
[cut to an unseen librarian leafing through some books that have been shipped in a parcel marked "From Library of Congress"]
NARRATOR: At times, they do their share in the reviewing of new books, evaluating and eventually buying them. This is done with one single purpose in mind, the improvement of their service to the people in their community, and the country at large.
[cut to several female librarians sitting in an office talking with a male supervisor]
NARRATOR: In library work, there exists a number of positions that require special competence and preparation. Take, for example, the administrator of a large library, often a highly paid executive. You'll understand that this person needs a great capacity for leadership, a high degree of vision and imagination, and a thorough understanding of all phases of procedures in his organization.
[cut to a closeup of a bookshelf]
NARRATOR: Then there are the specialists in subject resources, particularly in scientific, technical, and social-science fields, who render bibliographic and reference service to public, university, and special libraries.
[cut to another bookmobile]
NARRATOR: Extension librarians for county and regional libraries, who understand the social organization of rural communities and the objectives of rural leaders, pioneer in a steadily expanding field.
[cut to the interior of a library]
NARRATOR: Librarians in adult education - including readers advisors, community workers, and group leaders - provide special service for adults. Public relations specialists interpret the library's work to the public by personal contact or by means of newspapers, radio, films, or other methods of public relations.
[cut to a young female librarian working a microfilm reader]
NARRATOR: Specially trained librarians are always developing newer resources and educational uses of microfilm ...
[cut to a male librarian working a projector]
NARRATOR: Motion picture film ...
[cut to shots of various graphics]
NARRATOR: And other visual materials, such as posters and pamphlets.
[cut to a sheet of music]
NARRATOR: Musical scores for classical and popular compositions are available to music lovers.
[cut to a record player]
NARRATOR: Phonograph records are also found in many modern libraries.
[scene fades, then changes to a male doctor sitting in a library while a young female librarian sits at her desk]
NARRATOR: Hospital librarians provide special service for patients and hospital personnel. For instance ...
DOCTOR: Did you get me that material on the sternochlodimastroid and the zygomatic head of the quadratus levias superiorus?
FEMALE LIBRARIAN 2: Uh, yes doctor. Here it is ... [hands him a stack of papers] I didn't mind the research on them, but the pronunciations really had me stumped for a bit!
[scene fades, then changes to shots of various library-school materials]
NARRATOR: The professional librarian is required to have a college degree, and to have attended a special library school.
[cut to a young female librarian at the card catalog with a male patron]
NARRATOR: Although librarians in small libraries are not required to be library school graduates, they must have had some special training.
[cut to the interior of a public school library, as a young female librarian is shelving books]
NARRATOR: Reference work required in high school courses in the sciences, both social and physical, will be especially helpful in acquainting you with the library.
[a young male student gets up from his chair, and approaches another young female librarian - wearing thick glasses and a plaid dress - at the front desk]
NARRATOR: Study the work of your school librarian, and perhaps you can secure permission to assist. If you become a librarian, you will find that there can be great variety and interest, as well as security in this career.
[the librarian takes off her glasses and smiles, as she takes the book from the student]
NARRATOR: Your abilities will be challenged, but you will be rewarded with real pleasure from your work, salaries comparable with those of similar professions, and opportunities for advancement. You will derive satisfaction from a knowledge that your work is vital and essential in forming the kind of world in which you want to live.
[cut to an exterior shot of the library]
NARRATOR: When you investigate the field carefully, you will find that there is a need for thousands of trained librarians. Contact the library schools and the American Library Association. They are able to give you valuable advice. If you have the personal qualifications, librarianship may well become ... your life work!
Technical production by Burton Holmes Films, Inc.
Distribution by Carl F. Mahnke Productions, international sales organization for Vocational Guidance Films Inc.
Des Moines, Iowa
Shows the work of different library personnel.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
"The Librarian" (1947)
Producer: Holmes (Burton) Films, Inc.
Sponsor: Vocational Guidance Films, Inc.
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Occupations: Librarians
Creative Commons license: Public Domain