That's a scene from the 1932 film "No Man Of Her Own," in which Carole Lombard portrays a small-town librarian in upstate New York who's seduced by future real-life beau Clark Gable, a big-city sharpie. It's the only time Carole was ever cast as a librarian, but off-screen she was a well-read lady who may have visited a library every now and then.
It's an appropriate lead-in to news about an upcoming free Lombard film showing at a library. The movie:
"Made For Each Other," the slice-of-life film she made with James Stewart, released in early 1939. It enabled Carole to show off her skill as a dramatic actress, which aside from a semi-dramatic role in "Swing High, Swing Low" in 1937 had largely been set aside in recent years. For Stewart, it was the kickoff to a remarkable year, which included "It's A Wonderful World" with Claudette Colbert, "Destry Rides Again" with Marlene Dietrich and "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" with Jean Arthur.
The Memorial Branch Library, 4625 W. Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles, at 12:30 p.m. next Thursday, as part of its "Lunch @ the Library: Memorial Old Time Picture Show" series. As stated on the library's Web site, "You bring your sack lunch; the Library will serve complimentary coffee and cookies. Everyone is welcome to this movie viewing and discussion group."
As branch libraries go, this one has some history. The library sits across the street from Los Angeles High School, whose students and alumni acquired the land in 1923 and deeded it to the city as a memorial to its 20 alumni who had died in the World War. In 1929, the city authorized the Los Angeles Public Library to build a branch on that site, and it opened in April 1930, designed by the same architects (and in the same style) as the high school:
A stained glass window features the names of the fallen alumni.
In 1990, the library was closed for failure to meet seismic standards, but was repaired and renovated, reopening in July 1996 with a second stained glass window as its public art component.
It's never been documented whether Carole Lombard ever set foot in this library...but it wouldn't be surprising if she did. Especially in 1932, where she could've explained she was doing research for an upcoming film role.