What Happens in the Library stays in the Library


I’ve known a few librarians in my time.

From schools I’ve worked at to friends I went to Uni with who went on to join the ranks, the lived research for this write-up/mock-up is, trust me, literally years in the making.

The stereotypical librarian, shushing patrons and glaring evilly from behind the circulation desk, all while sucking us dry of spare change for those late books is definitely still a thing.

These days however the humble book jockey’s job is just as likely to involve teaching on-line literacy to seniors, navigating and helping patrons to navigate what used to be called the ‘book catalogue’ but now standardly goes by the name of an ‘information ecosystem’ or preparing a triple venti soy, no-foam latte for a visiting guest-speaking author.

This was my local library as a child. I still remember walking up those concrete steps and taking a sharp turn to the left to encamp myself at the children’s fiction section. 
The several-generations-ago nerdatorium has certainly had a facelift or three in the intervening decades. Some time ago it morphed into one of those post-modern  mallibraries.

These days my local ‘Club Lib’ is in a completely different neck of the woods. The times I go there let’s just say I have my escape exits planned well in advance. It’s one of those libraries in a rougher part of town (Inala) that has its own uniformed security guard and a large proportion of its clientele aren’t what you’d label avid readers. Instead they make the trip for the first-person shooter video games and attaching themselves to the public use computers for hours on end ’cause they don’t have one at home.

This same library is unfortunately also located right next to a public hall that every Saturday and Sunday is used for church gatherings. Someone in that church is pretty partial to using a microphone set to ‘airport runway’ volume to implore people to ‘Give their heart to Jesus’ – for hours on end. When that’s going down you can say goodbye to library quiet and hello to “What in God’s name is that racquet?” Whenever the automatic glass doors of the library open, in pours the puritanical ravings of a holy man who has no off-switch. Comical is but one polite word I can think of to describe what’s supposed to be a holy temple of sorts for book-lovers.


Lunacy such as that pales into comparison with the goings-on in ABC TV‘s series THE LIBRARIANS.


The opening credits sequence of this twenty-episode series features the head librarian, Frances O’Brien (played sublimely by Australian actress Robyn Butler) alone in her private office breathing rhythmically into a brown paper bag. This is her routine to steady herself for the onslaught of the coming apocalypse once the library doors open and the great unwashed (general public) come trolling in.

This series features an uncountable number of memorable one-liners each episode.

Sample: One librarian remarks to the other at the end of her shift – “Oh what a day! They were two deep at the counter at one stage.”

And if that clip doesn’t turn your pages try this one….

If that wasn’t enough to convince you there’s a funny side to libraries and librarians maybe these two pics will –


Ps. If that failed to get a rise then this definitely stood no chance: today’s post came within mere precarious inches of being named THE HIDDEN TRUTH ABOUT ‘LIE-BRARIES’. Cheese like that could gain lose me followers faster than this feebleness – Did you hear about the librarian who handed the blind man a cheese grater? The blind man said “That’s the most violent book I’ve ever read.” Better stop there.


Pss. The library-themed shenanigans aren’t over just yet folks. Those crazy folk over at EVERYDAY P-12 SCHOOL have had a serial prankster on the loose in amongst their library for some weeks now. You can read the whole twisted tale HERE

7 thoughts on “What Happens in the Library stays in the Library

  1. Ha! Another great post Glen. As a librarian myself (primary school mobile library) one of my favourites is when you tell a student they have an overdue and they say ‘I’ve never borrowed that book. I don’t even know what it is.’ I then check their borrowing history and the book they’ve ‘never even heard of’ is number 8 in a series and they’ve previously borrowed the first seven. Or teachers that tell their students off for having overdue books while I’m laughing to myself as that teacher has 20 overdue books to their name.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lol– “Whenever the automatic glass doors of the library open, in pours the puritanical ravings of a holy man who has no off-switch.”
    That sounds like pure, unadulterated hell to me!
    Coincidentally, I was in the library for five hours yesterday trying to do some writing. At one point someone somewhere in the back stacks started coughing and coughing and coughing and the guy at the table with me looked up and said, “JESUS CHRIST!” Lol !! It was pretty loud and it just kept going on and on and on.
    I’ve never heard of that series Librarians that you mention. It actually looks very, very funny.
    Finally, coincidentally, when I used to enter MY childhood library, I ALSO took a sharp left and made a beeline for the children’s section.
    It’s amazing to think that my mother could leave me in there while she went grocery shopping and not worry about me being abducted. But such was the relative simplicity of the 1970s….

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have met a number of librarians in my day and certainly envied the simple low-stress quality of their lives. It has got to be the cushiest job in any Education Department.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s