Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Library wars, the movie

I am in Singapore for the IFLA preconference (at which I am speaking) and the main IFLA conference. I will be blogging about both over the next week. In the meantime, the Singapore airlines inflight entertainment service included the film version of Library Wars (previously a Japanese manga series and anime): this is set in a Japan where the Media Betterment law has resulted in huge numbers of books being banned, with squads of sinister men with guns coming in and seizing most of the stock from bookstores and libraries. In reply the Library Defence force has been formed, with the right to approve and preserve books in libraries (and only libraries, so at a critical plot point they buy a building so they can declare it a library). The film does have some passages about the importance of the freedom to read, publish and write, but rather more scenes with Media Betterment chaps and Library Defence chaps firing guns at each other. Yes, the life of a librarian in this film is partly seeking out obscure titles in compact shelving bays, part issuing books politely to grateful patrons, and part learning how to fire your machine gun whilst abseiling down from the library roof. I must say I enjoyed it: possibly my favourite moment was when the heroine was angsting over who to ask for advice over an error message she was getting on the Library Management System. This is a reasonable review of the film
Photo by Sheila Webber: first coffee and cake in Singapore, August 2013

1 comment:

Sally said...

I've always had a sneaking desire to sit at the Enquiry Desk with a 'Super Soaker' and target the mobile phone users, the noisy people and the ones with the chips. My defence could be that I am protecting the rights of those who wish to read and study in peace :-) I am a hero in the making. have a good conference!