Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Location, Location, Location: Better Call Saul at the Library

Art Sculpture the Book Warden by Melissa Zink wearing Better Call Saul Season 2 Locations T-Shirt.

A guest post written by Eileen O’Connell, Branch Manager of Special Collections.

On June 5, 2015, I got an email asking me to list all of the events booked at Special Collections Library from July through October. The library had been scouted as a location for Season 2 of AMC's Better Call Saul, and the location coordinators wanted to schedule filming dates.

The filming is long over. Season 2 has aired. Season 3 is a go. It's hard to see the plot bending back toward our location, but I'm looking forward to saying hello to the crew if I see them setting up to shoot at Mike's house, which is half a block away from the library. I learned a lot during the weeks I managed a local history library that was briefly a swanky Santa Fe law firm, and there's no better way to befriend librarians than teaching us new things.

I'm a local history librarian in my own hometown. I identify and offer the tools that help researchers piece together how Albuquerque came to be what it is. During the filming, I was immersed in a current in Albuquerque's history that some future librarian will curate and communicate to a future generation. I have no clue how to classify this experience, but I've enjoyed sharing it.

My job during the filming was to open the doors and get out of the way. My Special Collections Library staff and the Library's administration, Maintenance and IT departments worked hard to notify customers about schedule changes and shift equipment and vehicles. Customers were generously tolerant of inconvenience and interruptions. The Albuquerque Film Office and the location coordinators eased and explained the process and ensured that the library's space was respected during filming and restored afterward.

Eight days over three months of set decoration and filming turned into 4 minutes of glorious screen time. I got to watch! I have to say THANK YOU to Better Call Saul production team, cast, and crew: you broadcasted a vision of the Albuquerque landmark that is my professional home to audiences I could never hope to reach.

Worldwide exposure is a new thing for The Public Library of ABQ BernCo. We are pretty good at sharing information and entertainment with people that enhances their quality of life. Sweeping crane shots are not our expertise. I will always cherish the way you saw and shared the beauty of Arthur Rossiter's building and Gustave Baumann's decorations beyond our borders. I have forgiven you for turning us into Santa Fe.  A native Albuquerquean's gratitude doesn't go any deeper than that. Congratulations on Season 2, and best of luck with Season 3.

You can find the first season of Better Call Saul in the library catalog, and check out our Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul subject guide!

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