5 Real Librarians Talk About Their Favorite Fictional Librarians


Librarians have a bit of a reputation to live up to. We expect them to be kind and resourceful. Well-read. Soft-spoken. These days, the bun and glasses are optional, but if you ask us, still fun in a kitschy way. But have you ever wondered what real librarians think an ideal librarian should be like? And more importantly, who are the imaginary librarians that they look up to? To find out, we caught up with our favorite blogging librarians from The Desk Set. Check out the results after the jump.

Maria Falgoust: “The obvious answer here is the gorgeous, brainy, and saucy Bunny Watson, played by Katharine Hepburn in the 1957 film Desk Set from which we [at The Desk Set] take our name. Bunny proves that she is at least as valuable as any computer, and she proves it while breaking hearts and cleverly outdoing Spencer Tracy.”

Emily Nichols: “My fictional role model is the Orangutan who runs the Library at Unseen University in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. A wizard who was transformed by a stray bit of magic, he refuses to be changed back. I have adopted a mute animal expression in many reference interviews hoping to elicit the complete query from a patron while using only the word “ook?” Surprisingly effective. I also admire his strength, agility and good judgment — he can locate and wrestle the unruly books from shelves in any dimension, but knows when it’s a good day to sit under his desk and eat a banana.”

Lisa Goldstein: “Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because he proved that you can save the world through research!”

Sarah Murphy: “To me, Ghostbusters is the quintessential New York movie, and the New York Public Library Librarian, played by Alice Drummond, is equally iconic. Her diligence before the ghost shows up is admirable, her terror at seeing the ghost absolutely believable, and her good-natured attempts to respond to Bill Murray’s idiotic reverse reference interview quickly lead to just the right level of annoyance.”

Amber Billey: “Parker Posey’s unabashedly organized character, Mary, in Party Girl is catalog cards down my favorite librarian. Although her life was a mess, she just needed a system to help her get it together. Thankfully for us, it was the Dewey Decimal Classification system. From organizing jeans to records, drunkenly learning the DDC, and making late night love in the library, Mary is one librarian who knows when to follow the rules and when to break them.”

Who is your favorite fictional librarian? Let us know in comments.