Readers’ Choice: 10 More of the Coolest Librarians Alive


Earlier this week, we posted about a few of the coolest librarians we’d ever heard of, and asked you to come back to us with your own suggestions. And come back you did, with suggestions of awesome librarians we missed from San Francisco to South Africa. We’ve collated a few of your suggestions, bringing our awesome librarian list up to a round 20. We know that still doesn’t cover it, but hey — that’s not a fact we’re likely to complain about.

Lori Easterwood and Jessica Zaker

As SacReader points out, these two Sacramento librarians have been extremely influential in outreach to possible readers in their 20s and 30s with their alt+library initiative. Running awesome-sounding programs like “Bollywood Spectacular, For the Spell of It (a spelling bee for adults), Herb Garden Mixology, Broke A$$ Holidays, Punk Rock Aerobics, Speed Dating for Book Lovers, Speed Friending, and a series of GLBTQIA focused National Library Week programs,” we wish these ladies worked at our local branch. Plus, Zaker, otherwise known as the Lipstick Librarian, is a roller derby skater.

Justin Hoenke

Peggy OKane suggested Justin the Librarian, a self-described “video gaming enthusiast” and the newly crowned Teen Librarian at the Chattanooga Public Library. And Peggy wasn’t the only one! He also got quite a few shout outs on Twitter: @MaineHumanities said, “He does great work with teens, gaming and the local community!” Justin’s response? “Oh hugs hugs hugs! Thank you!” Yep, he sounds pretty cool to us.

Gwyneth Jones

Commenter itsvladg gave a shout out to Gwyneth Jones, aka The Daring Librarian. And we can see why! Jones is a blogger, community leader, and all around bad-ass. How can we tell? She’s got a superhero bio on her blog, which introduces her thusly: “Daring defender of books, libraries, & lifelong learning! Super supporter of digital citizenship, curiosity, & intellectual freedom. Enthusiastic champion of transliteracy, creative commons, mobile media & shameless sharing. Fearless fighter of filters! Protector of goofballs & geeks! Committed to being a positive change agent within school community, district, state, nation, world, & the universe! (Is that too much?)” Not at all. Even cooler? Jones herself left a comment, quipping “We help raise the next generation of info savvy & literacy loving kiddos to send to our public library partners! Just sayin.”

Shannon McClintock Miller

Librarian expert itsvladg also gave props to Shannon Miller, who describes herself as a “Teacher Librarian & Technology Integrationist who loves connecting, creating, change, advocacy & NOISE.” We’re sold.

The Itinerant Poetry Librarian

Commenter KatyKaty nominates the Itinerant Poetry Librarian, who has been traveling the world, guerrilla-style free public library in tow, continuously since 2006. Not only is the Librarian committed to bringing knowledge to the people, she is also engaged with “archiving the sounds, poems and poetry of the cities, peoples and countries she meets.” A subversive, traveling librarian? Doesn’t get any more awesome than that.

Jenna Freedman

Commenter skirtmuseum writes, “I am a long-time admirer of Jenna Freedman’s work at the Barnard Zine Library. She has done a lot to preserve women’s writing.” Well, you know how we feel about zines. And women’s writing. Freedman also writes about zines, activism, and alternative press publications in libraries at her website.

Maria Falgoust and Sarah Murphy

One reader recommended Maria Falgoust and Sarah Murphy, founders of The Desk Set, which they describe as “a group of New York City area librarians, archivists, bibliophiles and other bookish types who meet informally to explore and enjoy literary resources, connect with like-minded folks, and raise money for institutions who promote literacy.” Translations: cool people throwing bookish parties and raising money for worthy literary causes.

Mouma Mokubjane

Amazing literary advocacy group Room to Read checked out our list and tweeted their own addition: Mouma Mokubjane, a volunteer librarian in their Nkadimeng Primary school, who nurtures the students’ reading habits and particularly enjoys helping them turn their favorite books into plays — which they then perform, of course. She also pays special attention to choosing books that speak to the particular issues of the community, which has a high number of cases of HIV and AIDS, and works to teach students prevention and destigmatization. “Literacy is the way we can improve this whole community,” she says. “I want to see all the children here succeed.” Now that is better than cool.