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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Cinema Library Windmills

I spend a lot of time writing. Writing anything. I like to write. So this semester, I’m taking “Intro to Screenwriting.” And, of course, I bought the text, “The Screenwriter’s Bible.” But the instructor also gives us the assignment of watching numerous videos and writing a script analysis of each.

Aaaghhh! I don’t own a TV! So not only do I have to buy the text, but I have to go buy a TV and a VCR!! Talk about an investment in my education.

The professor, being helpful, and realizing we are starving artists, or starving students, or both, mentions that to save the four dollar rental on these dozens of films, we can check videos out of the library. And, while I’m out buying the cheapest TV/VCR combo I can find, the salesman, hearing my position, suggests I further save money by borrowing videos from the library.

So then I, in my infinite niavety, think they meant any library and went to the Healy Library. On a Sunday!

After walking to the library on Sunday from the JFK/UMASS T-Station (because it only takes 15 minutes to walk and 20-30 minutes to take the bus), I manage to gain access to the Healy Library.

Not knowing where they may keep the videos, I stop at the front desk, Circulation, and ask if the library has any videos. The young girl looks at me and shrugs her shoulders. I ask if she knows where I could find out. She says maybe I should ask the lady at the reserve desk.

I go up one floor and ask the older lady at the Reserve Desk if the library has any videos. She seems perturbed that I am even speaking to her, and she asks if my professor has reserved specific videos. I explain that I am just looking for videos in general, and that I am only asking her because the younger girl downstairs didn’t know if the library even carried videos. I ask if the library has any videos anywhere. She says there are videos all over. This lady is getting testy, and she says I haven’t supplied her very much information but she will try to help anyway, and then she dissappears into a back room. When she hasn’t returned after ten minutes I finally understand what that meant.

I go downstairs and punch in “Casablanca.” There’s an entry, and, believing for a moment that the ruder lady may have actually spoke the truth, I head up to the ninth floor into the stacks looking for “Casablanca.” I find it, but it’s only a book about “Casablanca.”

I wander down one flight to the eighth floor and see an older student that I’d met a year or two ago, and ask him if he knows of any videos in the library. He suggests I check with the periodicals and microfilm department on the fifth floor.

Again, my questions are met with shrugs and puzzled looks. Everything is beginning to seem a little unreal-what with so many people asking for more details about videos, I’m beginning to think this is some cutting edge thing that most Americans haven’t heard about.

The fellow at the microfilm desk suggested I ask at the Reference Desk on the third floor. Down the stairs I go.

At the Reference Desk, an extremely polite and helpful woman says she is unsure if the library carries videos because she has only worked in the library for a couple of weeks (which explains her attitude…).

But she dives into the computer and discovers that there are indeed 47 videos in the building! The information provided points to Media Services, on the upper level. The other young lady at the Reference Desk mentions that they may only be for faculty and staff, and she doesn’t think the videos can be taken off of the premises.

The helpful new state worker says she will call down to Media Services on the upper level to see if they are open and if I am allowed to have access to the videos. She calls and gets a recording. After listening to the message a couple of times and being unable to decipher the rapid fire instructions, she hands me the phone and says, “He says something about another department, and gives a phone number, but maybe you’ll have better luck at understanding him.”

I listen to the message and figure out that he is saying we should contact Film Services if we are interested in videos. But it is Sunday, and they are closed, so I go down to Mike’s Movies on Cambridge Street and pay my first eight dollar rental fee.

Damn it’s hard writing while at UMB.

Michael Rhys

CAS, ’02