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Enser’s Filmed Books and Plays, 1928-2001

“In order to be really good as a librarian, everything counts towards your work, every play you go see, every concert you hear, every trip you take, everything you read, everything you know. I don’t know of another occupation like that. The more you know, the better you’re going to be.” – Allen Smith, PhD

I’ve been thinking a great deal about our reference collection since we moved back into the new building. One of the things I’ve heard over and over since we have moved back into the building is disbelief that we have such a big reference collection. The fact of the matter is that in the old library we had pieces of the collection spread all over the building. Upstairs, downstairs, hidden away in non-public spaces, etc. Not to mention we really didn’t have much counter space in which to open a reference book. As many of you know the reason we have such a great reference collection for a town our size is that we are a Regional Reference Center and get funding from the Southeastern Massachusetts Library System to provide reference service not only to residents of Falmouth, but also to librarians who work in a SEMLS library. It has been a joy to see so many patrons discovering our reference collection as if for the first time.

So once in awhile I’d like to tell you about a new volume that is on our shelf that you might never have heard of. As we get to the end of the summer, I hope we will be able to get back to our jobs as reference librarians, and spend less time showing people how to log onto our new computer monitoring software! This morning I’ve got the sixth edition of Enser’s Filmed Books and Plays sitting in my office. As it says in the intro: “Enser’s remains the only comprehensive printed compendium of motion picture and television adaptations of books and plays.” The heart of the book assumes that the reader has the name of a film in mind and wants to find out certain basic facts about it.  So for example you can see that the film Dr. Strangelove was based on a novel called Red Alert by P. George.

Hard as this is for us to believe now, there was a time when this was really the only source for this kind of information, but now, of course, there is the Internet Movie Database (or even your netflix account for that matter). Both of these are great sources. However, the wonderful thing about our reference books are that there are no advertisements, they are free in your public library, and you don’t need a computer to access them. Hands down the greener solution. You can also sit in one of our comfy reference chairs and stare out at the passing scene on Main Street while researching your movie question. So you might see someone you know pass by, who just happens to be walking into the library, and suddenly your reference question turns into lunch! See what can happen when you open a book?

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