The depictional of fictional librarians in media is often laden with tropes and inaccuracies — not unlike the portrayal of chemists. Despite these pitfalls, however, there are quite a few fictional information specialists who make the job look cool and fun. Here are seven of our favorite fictional librarians:
- Barbara Gordon (DC Comics)
Widely regarded as one of the DC universe’s most intelligent characters, Barbara Gordon (also known as the original Batgirl) has been fighting crime with brains and brawn since 1961. A librarian by day, Babs uses her eidetic memory and genius intellect to act as the Bat-Family’s information broker, with a healthy dose of butt-kicking. After she is paralyzed by the Joker in 1988’s The Killing Joke, she retires as Batgirl and takes up the mantle of Oracle, a hacker and information specialist supporting a large group of heroes. These days Batgirl is back on her feet, but critics and fans alike often cite her as an excellent role model for librarians, the disabled, and empowered women alike.
- Madam Pince (Harry Potter)
As the sole librarian responsible for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s massive collection of magical information, Irma Pince has a quite a big job to do. This may explain why she is so strict with her students, having banned laughing, sneezing, and other suspicious behavior, as well as threatening awful consequences to any who dare mistreat a library book. Rules aside, Madam Pince is a powerful witch whose skills in magic and librarianship are worthy of admiration. However, scaring away patrons by jinxing reading materials may not be advisable.
- Tammy Two (Parks and Recreation)
Tammy Swanson-Swanson is the Deputy Director of Library Services in Pawnee, Indiana. Twice married (and divorced!) to Ron Swanson, she is the sworn enemy of the Parks and Recreation Department, whose employees consider librarians mere “ book jockeys.” Rivalry aside, Tammy Two goes above and beyond to provide library services to her community, even if her methods are a bit… unconventional.
- Flynn Carsen (The Librarian)
If Indiana Jones were a librarian, he would basically be Flynn Carsen. With 22 degrees under his belt and a treasure trove of knowledge, Carsen is tasked with guarding the objects contained in the Metropolitan Public Library, a centuries-old repository for important (and often magical) items like Excalibur, Pandora’s Box, and the Ark of the Covenant. The depiction of fictional librarians is far from traditional, but his dedication to finding and protecting the world’s treasures should be familiar to many an information specialist.
- Evie Carnahan (The Mummy)
It’s important to be proud of your work, and Evie Carnahan is proud of what she is: A librarian. We meet her as an intelligent but clumsy employee of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities, but she is soon pulled into the adventure of a lifetime (or two) when the Book of the Dead, a text said to hold the power of immortality, is uncovered. Spoiler alert, she is later revealed to be the reincarnation of Nefertiti, but it’s no big deal, librarianship is her true calling.
- Jocasta Nu (Star Wars)
We all know that being a librarian is a pretty cool job. But a librarian and a Jedi? That’s in another galaxy of awesome. Jocasta Nu is the Chief Librarian at the Jedi Archives on Coruscant, where she is responsible curating the galaxy’s knowledge and helping her fellow Jedi find the information they need. It’s a pretty big job, because if something is not in the Archives, it doesn’t exist according to Master Nu. Rest assured, in her library the answers you seek are never far, far away.
- Rupert Giles (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
He may look like your typical tweedy librarian, but Rupert Giles is anything but average. As Sunnydale’s resident Watcher and father figure, Giles is responsible for protecting Buffy in her role as a Slayer and her “Scooby Gang” of friends. Sunnydale High’s library is conveniently located above the Hellmouth, a hotbed of supernatural activity, which makes Giles’ job that much more fitting. It’s also fitting that the series’ resident information specialist is also the master of exposition. Classic Whedon.