Librarians in Pop Culture

It always makes me especially happy to see Librarians represented in books, movies and TV shows. So I thought I would share with you a few of my very favourites:

  1. In Terry Prachett’s Discworld series, the Librarian of the Unseen University Library (full of magical books for the wizards) has some time ago been transformed into an orangutan, and he doesn’t really want to be changed back. Though all he says is ‘ook’ his character is quite endearing, and I love the description on the fan website (which really could be describing any one of us 😛 ):

    When worried, the Librarian tends to hide under a blanket in his book-lined nest in a cubby hole under a desk in the middle of the library. He is generally naked but he does wear an old green robe after he has had a bath. He is also a Special Constable of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. In his spare time he visits the pub, leaving a trail of peanut shells behind.

  2. Did you know that Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon (Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, NOT Alfred’s niece as shown in the movies), is a Librarian by day? HEAD Librarian of the Gotham City Pubic Library to be more specific. It’s nice to think of us Librarians as butt-kicking superheros, thank you very much.
  3. Speaking of butt-kicking, Evelyn ‘Evie’ Carnahan – the female lead in ‘The Mummy’ movies, is an exceptionally intelligent and strong Librarian. Her knowledge of ancient Egyptian mythology and hieroglyphs would shame any scholar. And she won’t let no undead jerks tell her what to do!
  4. I was recently shown an amazing movie called ‘Desk Set’ from the 1950’s starring Katharine Hepburn as ‘Bunny Watson’ – a sassy and highly intelligent Librarian whose role and department is at risk of being replaced by a fancy new computer (sound familiar?!) There’s also a pretty cute love story intertwined in the very witty and humorous dialogue.
  5. While not technically a Librarian, I absolutely love the sneaky Carl Conrad Coreander who runs the antique book store in the ‘Neverending Story‘ film. I always think of the library as a safe place for all, especially for those kids who need a place to go at lunchtime in school, just as Bastian is saved from the bullies by entering the book store. I can’t help but laugh at Coreander’s sentiments “the video arcade is down the street, we just sell small rectangular objects, they’re called books and require a little effort of your part – and make no pllffbb beeps! Now on your way” haha oh I feel you!
  6. I could go on and on, so I’ll leave you with a quick few others to check out on your own – if you haven’t heard of Rupert Giles, the Librarian in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, definitely have a watch. Of course, ‘The Pagemaster‘ film has a great eccentric librarian, Mr. Dewey (lol), who is willing to bend the rules a little. Then there is ‘The Librarians‘ film series and TV show from the USA which again has supernatural elements and a very clever Librarian. Finally, ‘The Librarians‘ TV show from Australia takes a more realistic approach, with a horrible librarian who is actually painful to watch (but its very funny).

So, from this list you can see: there is mostly an even split of male and female Librarians – interesting. Also we seem to be quite eccentric, and involved in lots of supernatural events, and are also very intelligent, quite funny and sort of rule breakers. I’m quite happy with this profile 🙂

Who are your favourite Librarians in pop culture?

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Copyright and book covers in Aus

It can be easy to forget as you are diligently working away, but every book cover in the library is covered by copyright law, not just the content within the book. Often the book cover will contain an artistic work, and some may be particularly unique.

So if you are using thumbnails in a catalogue, or a blog, or on a library poster – is this breaching copyright law?

Read More »

SLV overhaul

Exciting times – the State Library of Victoria’s ‘Vision 2020’ project will see a huge refurbishment and the creation of new spaces, with a 40% increase in public space!

There’s a website dedicated to the project if you’re keen to learn more, and you can even donate (hey it’s going to cost an estimated $88.1 million to complete!) According to Broadsheet Melbourne:

To fund the library upgrade the State Government has pledged $60.4 million, contributing $2 for every $1 raised through philanthropy.

Donations to date have reached $21.8 million, with large contributions from Maria and Allan Myers, the John and Myriam Wylie Foundation and the Ian Potter Foundation.

The remaining $5.9million will be sought through a public fund raising campaign.

I can’t wait to see the final result!! 🙂

Hack Library School blog

Need another blog to follow? Of course you do – you can never have enough to read!

Check out ‘Hack Library School’ :

a collaborative project begun in the Fall of 2010. It quickly grew from a Google Doc to a wiki to the rotating group of contributors that it is today. HLS was founded on the principle of students taking the future of librarianship into their own hands….Hack Library School is an invitation to participate in the redefinitions of library school using the web as a collaborative space outside of any specific university or organization….What will the information professions be next year if we define it for ourselves today? If we had a voice in the development of curriculum, what would that degree entail? This is our challenge to you; participate or come up with a better idea. How would you hack library school?

With a range of contributors and huge breadth of topics (from the informative and innovative to some quite funny posts) it’s definitely worth a look.

I was going to suggest a few ‘most interesting’ parts of the blog, but every time I clicked on another topic it was super interesting! I wish I had more time to read everything (but with new posts every day or two I don’t think I’ll ever manage to catch up with them haha).

Kudos to the creators and contributors.

Short Film – ‘The Library’

Happy New Year!!!

Why not start off 2016 by watching this wonderful short film entitled ‘The Library’ directed by Jason LaMotte:

The story told in The Library initially came from wanting to explore the relationship between memory and place. I have strong recollections of my neighbourhood library in Houston, Texas in the US. I can recall the layout, where certain sections of books were, the smells, and the sounds.And it still carries a magical feeling for me, this special kind of sanctuary full of knowledge, full of stories, all covered in a sense of quiet respect and revery.

(From The Guardian, read more from the director in their article)

I won’t spoil it by telling you anything about the plot 🙂

Enjoy!

eBook Collections in Libraries

The RIPS Law Librarian Blog posted about the ‘Issue’s surrounding eBook collections in law libraries‘ in September 2015.

With the rise of all-digital ‘bookless’ libraries and constant revelations about eBooks, it’s a topic of interest to me, especially as their post referred specifically to the law library context (in which I am currently employed).

At first it seemed everyone was saying the eBook would mean the death of the printed book, and eventually become the primary mode for reading. (See news articles from 2010 – ‘The future of books is a real page-turner‘ and 2013 – ‘Popularity of ebooks spells the demise of printed versions‘). There was almost a mass hysteria predicting these doomsday scenarios for the poor printed book.

But now however, everyone’s changed their tune. Read More »

Embedding Information Research Skills with Dr Karey Harrison

At the university I have been working at, I was able to attend an inspiring peer learning seminar.

It’s focus was on embedding information research skills within courses and was presented by Dr Karey Harrison. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to think about how we can encourage students to develop their research skills, especially since I was recently a student doing this myself!

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