Monday, September 2, 2013

Librarians Win the Internet with 'Sabotage' Remake

I love 1970s crime dramas: the sartorial splendor of the cops' street clothes and hairstyles, the often over-the-top scenarios, the requisite car chase with vehicles flying over hills in the road, and the wah-wah/chicka-chicka of the soundtrack. Most of these elements were incorporated into the Beastie Boys' 1994 video for "Sabotage," making it one of my all-time favorite music videos.

Better book it! This librarian means business: A scene from the "Sabotage" remake.
Image via Huffington Post

Nearly 20 years later, librarians at a Chicago private school are featured in a shot-by-shot remake of the Beastie Boys' hilarious send-up of '70s cop shows, and the video has become a viral sensation. Originally filmed for the annual variety show at the Francis W. Parker K-12 School this past May, the video began to take on a life of its own after it was picked up last month by the New York Public Library for its Tumblr. Then it was shared by the technology and culture blog Boing Boing, and within days the Huffington Post, CBS News, and Rolling Stone spotlighted the Chicago librarians' smart redo.

"I'm blown away by the whole thing," said Mike Ferbrache to "It's been amazing to watch." Thirty-eight-year-old Ferbrache, a third-grade teacher at the school, and thirty-four-year-old Duane Freeman, a counselor at the school, made the video with the participation of some very game librarians at Francis W. Parker. Initially, it "was just a fun way to showcase the school's librarians in a new light," reported But the video has since racked up more than 500,000 views on Vimeo and over 200 "likes."

The librarians in the video - Anne Duncan as "Story Time," Stephanie McMurray as "Late Fee," Branka Steinbaugh as "Bookworm," and Margaret Threet as "Dewey" - are amazed at all of the attention. "One of them emailed me back and just said, 'OMG,'" Freeman told

Looking at the video, it's obvious these librarians "didn't hold anything back. They were 100 percent committed to their roles," said Freeman. To see for yourself, click on THIS LINK to see "Late Fee," "Story Time," and the rest in action.

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