I’ve seen a lot of public libraries in my day, but I can’t recall a single one that lays claim to influencing 30 years of American pop culture.
Then again, I haven’t lived in Burbank that long. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that one local librarian single-handedly saved a scene in “The Rock,” or that the Aztecs in an old Ford truck commercial had properly knotted loincloths thanks to the Burbank Library.
From the mid 1970s until the late 1990s or early 2000s (depending on who you talk to), the Warner Bros. archive — all 125 filing cabinets of it — was housed at the library. For $60 to $70 an hour, library employees would find you any minute detail of any time period in human history. That seems like a tall statement, but the aforementioned loincloth proved me otherwise.