[Videolib] Short review of Remote Access: Distand Libraries of the world

Steve Fesenmaier (fesenms@wvlc.lib.wv.us)
Wed, 7 Mar 2007 15:29:13 -0500

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REMOTE ACCESS: Distant Libraries of the World.

24 mins. 2005 =20

A film review by Steve Fesenmaier March 7, 2007

=20

During the last 29 years I have tried to watch every film made by anyone =
promoting the use of libraries. I have screened them at our state =
library conferences, and even helped make the single most interesting =
film I have ever seen about libraries, Julian Samuel's "Save and Burn." =
(He has made two films on libraries - "Burn" and an earlier one, "The =
Library in Crisis," both available from Filmakers Library.) The San =
Francisco Public Library has asked me to find an amazing film about the =
Bibliotheque Nationale made by Alain Renais and I once hoped to screen a =
series of films at The New York Public Library Donnell Library made by =
librarian filmmakers. (Plans fell through a year or so ago...I am not =
sure why...)

=20

The Library of Congress produced "Memory & Imagination: New Pathways to =
the Library of Congress" (1990) a very good film several years ago =
hosted by Richard Saul Wurman (who wrote my favorite book on libraries =
and information, "Information Anxiety"). The West Virginia Library =
Commission produced a very interesting film in the 1950s called "Books, =
Books, Lots of Books" which showed store-front library collections. (I =
work for WVLC, serving as director of Film Services from 1978-99. In =
1976 WVLC created the last major new 16 mm film collection in the =
world.) Presently WV's leading activist librarian, Allen Johnson, =
director of the Pocahontas County Free Libraries, and his colleague B.J. =
Gudmundsson, who have made two award-winning feature films together =
already, are working on a TV spot to promote financial support for his =
library system in the highest county east of the Mississippi.=20

=20

Thanks to the videolib listserv I learned about this new Canadian film, =
"Remote Access," that shows the importance of providing library services =
to people living in truly remote parts of Latin America and Africa. =
Three independent shorts show libraries on the banks of the Amazon =
River, in the outback of Chile, and in various parts of Kenya, far from =
roads. The segments should be expanded to feature-length stories given =
their amazing stories showing libraries that are truly important to the =
poor and illiterate people they serve. The visual images are stunning, =
and the editing is almost too tight. Absolutely all library students in =
library schools around the world, all library boards, all library staff, =
and all library patrons should have a chance to watch in amazement at =
the sheer joy of learning shown on camera.=20

=20

I also greatly enjoyed the summary segment at the end. Various Canadian =
library supporters discuss how totally important these libraries are in =
our Information Age. Of course, some of the staff who administers these =
remote libraries also presents the financial, educational, and even =
spiritual value these tiny institutions play in the local isolated =
communities. The scenes of donkeys and camels carrying books and =
materials in Africa were poignant as any animal scenes I have ever =
viewed, revealing how mankind should work with all possible resources to =
bring the excitement of books to everyone. They donkeys and camels =
seemed to be properly cared for, one scene even showing the fresh water =
given the two donkeys that pull the ultimate bookmobile. I recalled the =
opening scene in "Amazing Grace" about William Wilberforce, the leader =
of the movement in England to end slavery, showing how he stopped to =
prevent some men from tormenting their poor horse that had fallen.

=20

Hopefully hundreds of libraries will purchase copies of this film, =
allowing the producers to continue traveling the world, showing remote =
libraries all over the world. There must be libraries in Antarctica, the =
North Pole, maybe even on the International Space Station.=20

=20

One other note. As a member of the group Freadom, trying to liberate the =
imprisoned librarians in Cuba, I have to note that none of the people =
shown in this film living outside of Canada probably had MLS degrees. =
The American Library Association has refused to fight for the freedom of =
the independent librarians in Cuba because they lack the proper =
credentials. Even Dr. Nancy Dunn, a Ph.D. in some field, who paid to =
build the library on the banks of the Amazon River, has her MLS. =
Certainly none of the other people interviewed do, and in some places, =
the libraries are housed in private homes just as they are in Cuba. If =
Dr. Mitch Freedman and the International Relations Committee of ALA ever =
saw this film, they may be forced to re-think their moral paralysis on =
Cuba.

=20

Websites -

=20

http://www.remoteaccess.ca/

=20

Kenya National Library Service

http://www.knls.or.ke/

=20

My extended review of "Save and Burn"

http://www.counterpunch.org/fesenmaier10022004.html

=20

=20

Librarians for Freedom -

http://www.4freadom.org/

=20

Friends of Cuban Libraries

http://www.friendsofcubanlibraries.org/

=20

=20

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REMOTE=20 ACCESS: Distant Libraries of the World.

24 = mins. 2005 

A film = review by=20 Steve Fesenmaier March 7, 2007

 

During = the last 29=20 years I have tried to watch every film made by anyone promoting the use = of=20 libraries. I have screened them at our state library conferences, and = even=20 helped make the single most interesting film I have ever seen about = libraries,=20 Julian Samuel=92s =93Save and Burn.=94 (He has made two films on = libraries =96 =93Burn=94=20 and an earlier one, =93The Library in Crisis,=94 both available from = Filmakers=20 Library.) The San Francisco Public Library has asked me to find an = amazing film=20 about the Bibliotheque Nationale made by Alain Renais and I once hoped = to screen=20 a series of films at The New York Public Library Donnell Library made by = librarian filmmakers. (Plans fell through a year or so ago=85..I am not = sure=20 why=85..)

 

The = Library of=20 Congress produced =93Memory & Imagination: New Pathways to the = Library of=20 Congress=94 (1990) a very good film several years ago hosted by Richard = Saul=20 Wurman (who wrote my favorite book on libraries and information, = =93Information=20 Anxiety=94). The West Virginia Library Commission produced a very = interesting film=20 in the 1950s called =93Books, Books, Lots of Books=94 which showed = store-front=20 library collections. (I work for WVLC, serving as director of Film = Services from=20 1978-99. In 1976 WVLC created the last major new 16 mm film collection = in the=20 world.) Presently WV=92s leading activist librarian, Allen Johnson, = director of=20 the Pocahontas County Free Libraries, and his colleague B.J. = Gudmundsson, who=20 have made two award-winning feature films together already, are working = on a TV=20 spot to promote financial support for his library system in the highest = county=20 east of the Mississippi.

 

Thanks = to the=20 videolib listserv I learned about this new Canadian film, =93Remote = Access,=94 that=20 shows the importance of providing library services to people living in = truly=20 remote parts of  Latin = America and=20 Africa. Three independent shorts show libraries on the banks of the = Amazon=20 River, in the outback of Chile, and in various parts of=20 Kenya, far from roads. The = segments=20 should be expanded to feature-length stories given their amazing stories = showing=20 libraries that are truly important to the poor and illiterate people = they serve.=20 The visual images are stunning, and the editing is almost too tight. = Absolutely=20 all library students in library schools around the world, all library = boards,=20 all library staff, and all library patrons should have a chance to watch = in=20 amazement at the sheer joy of learning shown on camera.

 

I also = greatly=20 enjoyed the summary segment at the end. Various Canadian library = supporters=20 discuss how totally important these libraries are in our Information = Age. Of=20 course, some of the staff who administers these remote libraries also = presents=20 the financial, educational, and even spiritual value these tiny = institutions=20 play in the local isolated communities. The scenes of donkeys and camels = carrying books and materials in Africa were=20 poignant as any animal scenes I have ever viewed, revealing how mankind = should=20 work with all possible resources to bring the excitement of books to = everyone.=20 They donkeys and camels seemed to be properly cared for, one scene even = showing=20 the fresh water given the two donkeys that pull the ultimate bookmobile. = I=20 recalled the opening scene in =93Amazing Grace=94 about William = Wilberforce, the=20 leader of the movement in England to end slavery, = showing how=20 he stopped to prevent some men from tormenting their poor horse that had = fallen.

 

Hopefully hundreds=20 of libraries will purchase copies of this film, allowing the producers = to=20 continue traveling the world, showing remote libraries all over the = world. There=20 must be libraries in Antarctica, the = North=20 Pole, maybe even on the International Space Station.

 

One = other note. As a=20 member of the group Freadom, trying to liberate the imprisoned = librarians in=20 Cuba, I have to = note that=20 none of the people shown in this film living outside of = Canada probably=20 had MLS degrees. The American Library Association has refused to fight = for the=20 freedom of the independent librarians in Cuba = because=20 they lack the proper credentials. Even Dr. Nancy Dunn, a Ph.D. in some = field,=20 who paid to build the library on the banks of the Amazon=20 River, has her MLS. Certainly none of the other people = interviewed=20 do, and in some places, the libraries are housed in private homes just = as they=20 are in Cuba. If Dr. Mitch Freedman = and the=20 International Relations Committee of ALA ever saw this film, they may be = forced=20 to re-think their moral paralysis on Cuba.

 

Websites=20 =96

 

http://www.remoteaccess.ca/

 

Kenya National=20 Library Service

http://www.knls.or.ke/

 

My = extended review=20 of =93Save and Burn=94

http://www.counterpunch.org/fesenmaier10022004.html

 

 

Librarians for=20 Freedom =96

http://www.4freadom.org/

 

Friends of Cuban=20 Libraries

http://www.friendsofcubanlibraries.org/

 

 

 

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