In this week’s Princh Library Blog, guest writer Nina Grant observes how libraries are presented in the pop culture, and more specifically, in film. Enjoy!

When movies take us into libraries, it’s like stepping into another world. You know the feeling… the soft hush of pages flipping, the soft thuds of footsteps wandering between towering bookcases, and that buzz of excitement knowing there’s a ton of adventures tucked into those books. Now, think about the libraries in movies like “Meet Joe Black,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” or “City of Angels.” They’re not just pretty backgrounds – they really feel like they’ve got their own stories to tell. Each one’s got its own vibe that just pulls you in and leaves a lasting impression that’s hard to shake off.

A Place of Whispers and Wealth: “Meet Joe Black”

In “Meet Joe Black“, the library is more than just a room filled with books – it’s a symbol of wealth, knowledge, and power. It is located in a sprawling mansion, where this private library is the epitome of luxury that showcases rich wood paneling, shelves upon shelves of leather-bound tomes, and a grand fireplace that adds warmth to its opulence. It’s here that pivotal moments of introspection and negotiation take place, which underline the library’s role as a sanctuary where life’s big decisions are made amidst the quiet comfort of books.

 The Sanctuary in the Storm: “The Day After Tomorrow”

“The Day After Tomorrow” throws us into the New York Public Library, which pretty much turns into the coolest (pun intended) survival bunker ever as the world outside turns into an ice cube. This place, with those big lion statues standing guard like they’re keeping the cold out, becomes a cozy hideout for New Yorkers trying to outlast the new ice age. Inside, people huddle up among all these old books and cool historical items, showing us how libraries hang onto the stories of who we are, even when everything’s going icy outside. It really hits home how libraries light the way when things get dark.

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The Heart of Hogwarts: “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

The Harry Potter film series – a name that echoes through the halls of cinematic and literary history – found its home across various majestic locations in the United Kingdom. While the blend of awe-inspiring studio sets and real-life locations provided a tangible realm for witches, wizards, and muggles alike, a significant part of Hogwarts’ essence was captured within the walls of Leavesden Studios near Watford, England. Here, the spellbinding interiors of Hogwarts were meticulously crafted, including the grandeur of its corridors and the mystery of its many classrooms.

Among these magical sets, the Hogwarts Library, as seen in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” stands out as a realm where the line between the mundane and the mystical blurs. Filmed with towering shelves laden with ancient spellbooks, secret sections, and overseen by the vigilant Madam Pince, the Library serves not just as a backdrop but as a character in its own right. It’s in this hallowed hall of learning that Harry and his companions unravel many a mystery, propelled by the Library’s atmosphere of infinite possibility and luminescence from its grand windows.

A Celestial Encounter: “City of Angels”

Lastly, “City of Angels” offers a different take on the library as a magical space, where an angel named Seth experiences life through the eyes and hearts of the humans around him. The Los Angeles Public Library becomes a meeting place between the celestial and the terrestrial. It’s in the quiet corners and among the rows of books that Seth realizes his longing to be human. This library serves as a crossroads of fate, love, and existential yearning, which encapsulates the profound impact books and knowledge have on understanding oneself and the world.

From the warmth and wisdom of “Meet Joe Black”‘s private haven, the collective courage within “The Day After Tomorrow”‘s icy fortress, the wondrous portal of Hogwarts in “Harry Potter”, to the intersecting destinies in “City of Angels”, each library offers viewers a unique journey into the heart of storytelling. They remind us that libraries are not just rooms filled with books but worlds brimming with possibilities, adventure, and the eternal search for knowledge and meaning.

We will be back with another interesting article from the library world soon!

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Nina Grant

Nina is a passionate writer and editor who likes to cover a variety of topics.

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205, 2024

Spectacular Libraries In Film

In this week's Princh Library Blog, guest writer Nina Grant observes how libraries are presented in the pop culture, and more specifically, [...]