Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Amityville Hubbub

There was an interesting sidebar in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. It talked about how the release of the Amityville Horror remake recently has started bringing people back to the town of Amityville, NY looking for wayward ghosts, horrific happenings and spooky-ass houses.

As you can imagine, the residents are not happy with this. They had seen a similar onslaught after the original film and thought they had seen the worst of it pass. They're doing their best to fend off the tourists whose annoyance factor seem to outweigh any money they bring in. One particular statement I found funny was this: "The Library's policy is to stay out of it".

Now, there was no elaboration on this statement (It was a short sidebar), so I'm forced to do some conjecturing. Considering how they hype the movie with the "based on a true story" malarkey and how, I'm told, the characters in this new version do visit the local library in order to research their house and the town's history, does this mean the actual library is turning away people wanting to do research?

The librarian purist in me wants to be offended. However, as is the case with all professional people who go through their education as idealists, the reality of the working environment puts a different spin on things. There are situations and patrons that are disruptive to the point where the time being used to deal with them prevents librarians from helping others.

A quick perusal of the library's website does not reveal any comment about the film. It's quite possible that the "stay out of it" party line means that librarians will point people where possible sources are, but they'll be damned if they spend any more of their own time helping you. If you want to do research on the goofy house that thousands before you have done, then you'll have to do the legwork yourself, which is ultimately fair.

Now, if only the town could do something about those damn sharks...

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