Librarians on film (and TV)

Star Wars librarian, Jocasta Nu

Credit: LucasFilm

So, Obi-Wan Kenobi does what all good Jedi should do and goes to his local library to find some information from a hopefully helpful librarian. Unfortunately he meets Jocasta Nu. Seriously Jocasta, that’s your reference interview technique? Can’t you sit  Obi-Wan down in front of your futuristic OPAC or access a database with him to help him find what he needs? Sure, he might not have the “right reference” but who does? It isn’t as if he’s asked for a book and only remembers that it was blue. “Oh yes, I’m looking for a planet…I remember it was sort of cloudy” doesn’t really cut it.

No. You send him on his way without any information at all. Of course, you could have taken some notes and his email address (or hologram address) and researched his problem in your own time and get back to him. Tut tut. Bad librarian.

Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

Controversial decision because I love Giles and the Buffyverse. However, Giles, I get that you’re saving the world and all that but what is your outreach policy? We never see any students using the library, apart from very very rare occasions which you react to with confusion. You hate computers (I seem to remember you called one an idiot box), at a time when they were beginning to transform the librarianship landscape. As a high school librarian, you were pretty bad. Sure, Sunnydale was inevitably going to fall into the Hellmouth but surely you could have put on a literacy programme or something for the students. I mean, they didn’t even get to graduate properly due to the Mayor turning in to a giant snake thing. Poor students.

Ghost librarian, Ghostbusters

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Honey. I get that you’re all dead and incorporeal but that doesn’t excuse your terrible manners in the book stacks. What’s with all the floating books? Are you sure they’re being reshelved properly because you of all people should know how impossible it is to find a misshelved book. We may as well write those ones off and put a missing note in the catalogue. And really? Gunge in the card catalogue? Your living colleagues probably haven’t put those onto an electronic database and some poor intern is going to have to clean those up and reorder all the ones you rudely scattered everywhere. Honestly, even in the afterlife you can make a ton of extra work for the living.


Evelyn O’Connell, The Mummy

Credit: Universal Pictures

Two words. Ladder training. Really…you could have killed someone.

Monsters University Librarian

Credit: Pixar/Disney
Credit: Pixar/Disney

Oh dear oh dear. Bun. Check. Old age. Check. Glasses with chain. Check. Tentacles…er….check? I get the importance of silence in a study space but charging about the place, tackling students, causing injury and causing a whole mess that only you are going to have to tidy up is not a good way of maintaining a user friendly service. Calm yo’ self. It’s ok.

Disclaimer: this is all meant to be very tongue-in-cheek. Tell me your personal bad librarians from TV/film/other. Let’s share in the cringing.

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