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.
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