Best Job @ the Library

Look, I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t they just post about someone else having the best job in the library? Yes. That person is Robin Papaleka, and while she does have a pretty cool job, it’s far from “the coolest.”

My name is Bobby Phillipps, and as the Audiovisual Coordinator, I have the coolest job in the library!

I am a movie and music nerd. I play guitar, bass, drums, piano, I sing, and I have worked on a few independent films in various capacities. I’ve contributed music, I’ve helped with editing, and I’ve even acted here and there. I just love movies and music so much! Heck, my wife and I got married at the Stanley Hotel, because we love “The Shining” (the Kubrick version) so much! So when the Audiovisual Coordinator position became available, I felt like I was made for that job.

As Audiovisual Coordinator, my job is to select and purchase audiovisual materials for the library. This includes movies, music, video games, and audiobooks. So when the new Star Wars or Marvel movies come to Blu-Ray and DVD, or when Taylor Swift or Foo Fighters release a new CD, I’m the guy who purchases those. I don’t just order the hip, popular stuff, though! My favorite part of being a selector is that I get to put a little bit of my own stamp on the collection. I get to add movies, music, and audiobooks to our collection that you might not have heard of otherwise. Independent films, foreign films, documentaries, obscure music you likely won’t hear on the radio, and audiobooks by indie authors, or on topics you’ve never heard of. These movies, albums, and books aren’t for everyone, but I get joy knowing that maybe someone grabbed a CD or movie they hadn’t heard of, and were suddenly turned on to a new genre, musician, actor, director, or author. It’s even more fun when I get to turn people on to local musicians and filmmakers!

Because part of my job involves researching these films, albums, and books, I get even more clued in to what’s out there from independent creators. Even before I took this position in January, working at the library has fostered my curiosity for films and music that might be off the beaten path. Here are a few examples of movies and bands I wouldn’t have known about if I wasn’t working for the library.

  • Hunter Prey” – a low-budget sci-fi with a small cast that relies more on pacing than special effects to tell a compelling story.
  • Donnie Darko,” my favorite movie of all time (I’ve got two tattoos of the character Frank), which I likely wouldn’t have watched if I didn’t work here when I was a teenager.
  • In Bruges” – a darkly funny movie about two Irish hitmen laying low in Bruges after a job gone wrong, and end up causing even more trouble in the quaint Belgian capital.
  • Ghost – a Swedish rock band that somehow manages to combine elements of Black Sabbath, and ABBA (yes, *that* ABBA).
  • City and Colour – a Canadian folk-rock band whose singer Dallas Green has a voice to break even the most hardened of hearts.
  • The Civil Wars – a now-defunct folk-Americana duo with John Paul White and Joy Williams, young people with old souls, crooning songs about love and loss.

My job introduces me to the best movies and music from around the world, whether everybody’s heard of them, or nobody’s heard of them, I get to share my findings with the rest of Laramie County. That’s why I (not Robin!) have the coolest job at the library!

~Bobby P.