The Library Film Section: A Hidden Gem Unearthed

The Library Film Section: A Hidden Gem Unearthed

Maya Shabtai/Riverdale Review  Students working in the Riverdale library.

Maya Shabtai/Riverdale Review
Students working in the Riverdale library.

Take a right past the computers, behind the library desk, into the librarian's office and look straight behind Ms. Ross’ desk. The taller white cabinet is the Riverdale Country School Film Library. You have probably never taken a film out from the library. You have probably never looked at the available film selection. In fact, you probably did not know Riverdale even had a film library until now. How long has this collection existed? According to librarian Ms. LaShawn Ross, “It’s always been available to faculty and students since I’ve been here and even before. The collection used to be on VHS.” What films are in the collection? Right now, the collection is mostly composed of documentaries, films of Shakespeare plays, copies of films used in Constructing America and some foreign films. However, Ms. Ross emphasised that “the collection is driven by request. So, if a student comes in and wants that film, I have no problem ordering it.” Any student or faculty member is free to request an addition to the collection (this request system is actually the case with the whole library, in case you were wondering). All you have to do is ask. However, when asked how often students and faculty take films from the library, Ms. Ross simply responded “not often.” You can get almost any film if you just ask for it. It is an awful shame that this resource of the school is so underused. After all, while it is surely invaluable for a film student, the film section can be a valuable resource for us all. If you have ever wanted to rewatch a movie clip from class or decided you want to see the entire movie, the film section probably has a copy of it already. If you want to get a better handle of historical material from class or to engage in some autodidacticism, the library’s selection of documentaries would be a great place to turn. If you cannot see Shakespeare on stage (like you should), film can certainly give students an opportunity to see acting flesh out the Bard’s work. If you just want to see a movie you don’t have at home, you can put in a request for it and, thereby, expand the film collection. However, currently, the film section is an unguarded secret. A Library of Alexandria lost not to word-eating fire, but to indifference. Hopefully, if we take an interest in our film collection and make requests for new films to add, the film section can grow into a well-stocked and well-used resource for years to come.

Maya Shabtai/Riverdale Review  A portion of the library film section in storage.

Maya Shabtai/Riverdale Review
A portion of the library film section in storage.

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