“OUR LIBRARY” SHOWS THE POWER OF A FREE AND PUBLIC LIBRARY
What does a free and public library mean to a community? In the era of powerful internet search engines is the library even relevant? If we love our library so much why don’t we fund it better?
“Our Library”, a new documentary from filmmaker Morgan C. Atkinson, asks these questions while taking viewers on a rollicking tour of Louisville’s public library system, Kentucky’s largest. Scenes from branches in every part of the community show why the public library remains one of democracy’s most important and valuable institutions.
“Our Library” is currently airing on PBS stations in Kentucky. It features acclaimed actor/musician Will Oldham who serves as a quirky guide highlighting the many attributes of the public library as well as the challenges facing it today. How quirky? Think if Willie Wonka owned a library rather than a chocolate factory.
Aside from funding and relevance, “Our Library” tackles such issues as the integration of the Library system, digital divide- a new form of segregation, the closing of neighborhood branches, the great impact of programs like the bookmobile and the Summer Reading program. It concludes by showing the moving power of the citizenship ceremony hosted regularly at the Main Branch.