Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Breakfast Club and Library Revolutions

According to IMDB, Library Revolution was one of the proposed names of John Hughes' masterpiece, The Breakfast Club. I hadn't revisited the flick since it was released (1985) until last night. It was one of the first rated "R" movies I saw in a theater. 25 years later, it more than holds up, and I am realizing it has influenced my life in untold ways.

After all, don't I spend my days in a space similiar to the one where Allison, Claire, John, Brian and Andrew are sent to what is supposed to be a purgatorial punishment, but ends up being illuminating and uplifting? I did enjoy scoping the set space. Okay, there's no LIBRARIAN there for Saturday detention, but let's not quibble over staffing. Though the school where it was filmed is now a police station, the fictitious Shermer High was modelled on New Trier High School. I spotted helpful signage -- "Current Periodicals" -- and strategic displays -- "Librarian Selections." And what about those boxy table-top electronic devices? Are those early PCs? Microfilm readers?

While my rural school doesn't have the resources for a Henry Moore (or even Moore-esque) sculpture, there are still philosophical takeaways for librarians. As I watched, I realized that I want my school libary to be infused with a Breakfast Club ethos -- to be a space where people connect and come to respect each other in new and unexpected ways. And I suppose I have other, less positive connections to the flick as well. John Bender destroys Moliere, but my husband tossed random books out the window of his junior high school library. But I married him anyway, and I still find the connection between Claire and John Bender absolutely electric.

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