Saturday, December 13, 2014
Books for Library Lovers
The opening of the new Halifax Central Library today started me thinking about all the other great books and movies that feature librarians.
I just borrowed Stitching in the Stacks: librarian-inspired knits, which has patterns for everything from shawls to bookworms, and is inspired by "librarians (real and fictional), library architecture, cataloging systems, and sometimes the books themselves." My favorite pattern was the Dewey number hat—I’ll be attempting to make this soon! I picture disaster and dropped stitches, but that's due to my knitting skills, not the quality of the patterns, which are so fun to browse.
My all-time favorite movie series featuring librarians is The Librarian, which now has a TV show called The Librarians that I can’t wait to see. The Librarian movies are an amazing mix of fantasy, adventure, cheesiness, and, of course, libraries. The first movie in the trilogy is The Librarian: Quest for the Spear. In it, Flynn Carson, a professional student (played by Noah Wyle), is kicked out of school with 22 degrees to get some real-life experience. Against his will, he is forced to face the world and get a job. Eventually he is recruited into a library, only to find out that being a librarian is not what it seems. His job now is to protect the world from dangerous artifacts and the people who want to use them for evil. Will his 22 degrees prepare him for the adventures ahead? You will have to watch to find out. I can't get enough of these movies and have watched them over and over.
Librarians have also infiltrated comics: Unshelved is a web comic based on the day-to-day lives of librarians in a fictional public library. The strips are funny and, I hope, exaggerated accounts of the struggles of customer service. I imagine anyone who has worked a customer service job can relate to these humorous stories. Check out the book Library Mascot Cage Match: an Unshelved collection by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum to see what kind of mischief librarians and their customers can get up to. Remember, this is fictional…
For another illustrated take on libraries and librarians, check out Audrey Niffenegger's haunting graphic novel The Night Bookmobile. In it, a melancholy young woman discovers a mysterious bookmobile that only appears on certain special nights. Her obsession with this creepy bookmobile and its contents leads her to become a librarian. Warning: this graphic novel is not for the faint of heart!
If you’re interested in a real glimpse behind the scenes of a library, take a look at the book I Work at a Public Library: a collection of crazy stories from the stacks by librarian Gina Sheridan. She has gathered together all kinds of humorous anecdotes from her library experiences. If you want to know, for example, how long eyebrow hairs are, you are not alone; this is a question that Sheridan has been asked before. From the amusing to the touching, this book has it all.
For the mystery lovers out there, there are librarians for you too. Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin features Karen Nash, a mystery-loving librarian. Little did Karen know that jumping onto that plane to follow her ex-boyfriend would lead her into her very own murder mystery. When murder strikes at the B&B Karen is staying at, she must use her skills to help solve the case and save her ex from an unfortunate end. If you like cozy mysteries and libraries, check out this librarian's adventures in London.
by Sarah B.