Over the weekend, the USC Libraries honored the screenwriters and authors behind the Searchlight Pictures feature film Nomadland and the Netflix series The Queen's Gambit with the 33rd-annual Scripter Awards. Numerous entertainment news venues covered the awards, which were presented at an online ceremony on the evening of Saturday, March 13.
Several publications highlighted one of the evening's themes—libraries' success in adapting to changing circumstances, especially disruptions brought by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Deadline wrote that USC Libraries Dean Catherine Quinlan, who served as master of ceremonies, "spoke eloquently of the challenges that the USC libraries have faced during the coronavirus pandemic." Variety's Tim Gray added:
Before the awards presentations, USC Libraries dean Catherine Quinlan paid tribute to the faculty and library staff, pointing out that “we all continue to fight on” during isolation; she said the digitizing of material increased 2,000% over the previous year. Quinlan spoke before a virtual background of the campus’s Doheny Library, the setting for past in-person awards.
The recipient of this year's Ex Libris Award, which honors extraordinary supporters of the USC Libraries or libraries in general, also commented on library adaptation, as Indiewire's Anne Thompson wrote:
The winner of this year’s Ex Libris Award, California State Librarian Greg Lucas, on Zoom from Sacramento, touted California’s 1128 libraries’ move online during the pandemic, creating hotspot laptop lending programs, turning 100,000 enrichment programs offered in libraries into Zoom calls, and feeding hungry kids. 300,000 meals with enrichment kits were served via drive-through systems. “That’s 10,000 more than 2019 when doors were open,” he said.
Other publications highlighted Scripter's role as a bellwether for the the Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter noted that the Scripter Award in the feature film category "and the best adapted screenplay Oscar have gone to the same project on 14 occasions over the past 32 years." The Wrap's Steve Pond elaborated on the correlation:
In its first 19 years, the Scripter winner went on to win the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay only four times — but in the 13 years since then, it has won 10 times, including eight matches in a row from 2010 to 2017. The last two years, though, the Scripter and the Oscar have not agreed, with the former award going to “Leave No Trace” and “Little Women” and the latter to “BlacKkKlansman” and “Jojo Rabbit.”