Category Archives: Librarian Stuff

You Guessed It! More Librarians in Songs

Librarians just seem to be popular in all forms of popular culture, so another list.

Nick Cave! There She Goes My Beautiful World  is not really about libraries or librarians…but it is literary! I just really wanted to include Nick Cave. Could you blame me? 

Swinging London by Magnetic Fields is another stretch with one mention of a library. Why not, I ask you!?

Green Day’s At the Library does not have a happy ending; boy does not get girl. I’m assuming the song takes place in a library but other than the title, there is no other mention of libraries. 

Shouting in the Library by Popple…love it! A few lines in there most librarians can relate to.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart sing about lust in the library in Young Adult Friction. Apparently libraries are great locations for sex (not!). 

Hilarious video by MC Poindexter and the Study Crew rapping out the Library Rap. Rife with stereotypes again…sigh…this song was taken from an episode from the 1990′s series, Sliders. 

Sweet Librarian by Railroad Jerk is a fun song if you can find it. I wasn’t able to include this song to listen to but if you’re interested, you can listen to a sample of it in iTunes. It’s an odd hillbilly song about someone crushing on a librarian. The lyrics are below:

Swee-eeeet librarian
What good books can you recommend?
Swee-eeeet librarian
Do you think that we could still be friends?

After everything that we’ve been through
Your books on time and mine overdue
I can’t help it if I have a cough
What days do you have off?

Swee-eeeet librarian
Four more days until the weekend
I-hiiiigh have been
Thinkin that we could still be friends

Is this reference or a circulating?
Would you like to go rollerblading?
I can’t help it if I have a cough
What days do you have off?

Sweeeeeet librarian
Sweeeeeet librarian
Sweeeeeet librarian
What good books can yooouuuu recommend?

Melvil Dewey is a children’s rap artist and has a CD called Deweylicious: Library Hip Hop…eeep! I don’t have a sample of this either so if you’re curious, you can listen to samples through iTunes (again). It includes such enticing titles as Dewey Decimal Rap and Evil Librarian. Listen at your own risk!

That’s it! Again, I ask if you enjoy these posts, comments go a long way for me to feel inspired to continue with this blog. Am I shamelessly begging? You bet!!!

Chained Libraries…Nothing Kinky Here!

Unless you think books chained to bookshelves is sexy :) As anyone who has been reading my blog can see, I’m quite enamoured with beautiful, old libraries. I thought I would continue with that theme and feature chained libraries. These are libraries that chained their books to the shelves to prevent theft. Medieval security gates, perhaps?

Hereford Cathedral (which also can be found in my More Beautiful Libraries post) is the most well known chained  library. If you click  on the picture, it will take you to the official website where you can take a 360 degree tour of the library.

Marsh’s Library (which also has made an appearance in my haunted library series, In Dublin’s Fair Citypost) used to be a chained library and while they no longer chain their books, the bars that attached the chains to the books are still a part of the shelving.

Francis Trigge Chained Library is located in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England and founded in 1598. It was built for the Parish Church of St. Wulfram, which is one of the largest medieval churches in England.

The Royal Grammar School in Guildford, England has a small chained library but is notable for being one of the last chained libraries in a school. The library is now the Headmaster’s Study.

Merton College Library, part of the University of Oxford, is considered “the world’s oldest continuously functioning library for university academics and students”. It was founded in 1276 and the books were originally kept in a chest with three locks.

The Boys’ Division at Bolton School is located in Lancashire, England and houses a not-as-old chained library. The library received a bookcase from a donation in 1694 and started to chain the books in 1735.

Wells Cathedral is located in Somerset, England. Its library was established in the mid-fifteenth century and one of its oldest books is from 1472.

St. Peter’s Church at Wootton Wawen is located in Warwickshire, England (close to Stratford-Upon-Avon). There was an original wooden church built between 720 and 740 AD. The current church was built around its remains and was itelf built between 970 and 1040. The chained books were donated by former vicar, Rev George Dunscombe, who served from 1642-1652.

The video below is a small segment from a PBS series based around the history of computers. The video features chained libraries (I don’t know! I guess books were computers from the past!?)

And just for fun, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Restricted section of the library features chained books. The video below is just still shots from the invisibility cloak scene but you can see the chained library at the beginning. Look how young Daniel Radcliffe is! Funny how all of the Chained Libraries are in England. A lack of trust in English Medieval parishioners, perhaps? I hope you enjoyed my latest library list. They’re fun to make and if I get some actual comments (hint, hint), I’ll keep going with these :)

Even More Librarians on TV!

I had no idea that librarians were so prolific! Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but, here’s another dose of librarians featured on TV.

I was surprised at myself for missing this first one with my last post on the subject. This librarian used to scare the living #&%! out of me at a much younger age! This is a segment of The Librarian from The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.  It was one of my favourite shows growing up but the librarian was just so damned creepy! It’s funny to watch now as I’ve since realized it was never scary but kudos to Billy Van who played the character to perfection!

This next example could fall under the category of either TV or movie since it’s a movie made for TV. I decided on TV obviously :) It’s a typical little story about a possessed house…the scene I’m sticking in here involves the death of a helpful librarian. Don’t worry if you’re squeamish…no blood, just some screaming :)

I wasn’t able to find a video of the the next librarian, but Kathy Kinney (best known for her role as Mimi on The Drew Carey Show) starred as Miss Prudence Goddard, the town librarian on Newhart for a season. I couldn’t even find a picture of her in the role so I’m just posting a random scene from Newhart…just because!

This Friends episode proves that you can have fun in the library! However, I don’t recommend this kind of activity at your local branch :)

Reading Rainbow was a fantastic program for children featuring  books and encouraging reading and starring LeVar Burton (best known as Geordie from Star Trek: The Next Generation). In this episode, Alistair in Outer Space, LeVar takes the viewer on a tour of the Library of Congress. You can watch the entire 30 minute episode here.

The Lucy Show! Anyone remember this one?! In this episode, Lucy decides to get a roommate, who happens to be Carol Burnette, and who also happens to be a librarian. Lots of stereotyping here but Lucille Ball and Carol Burnette…what a combination!

My last example features a library starring Eugene Levy as Bobby Bittman from SCTV. Rob Ford needs to watch this!

I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed some and if I have, I would appreciate any suggestions. Again, thanks for reading!

Yay! Librarians in Movies Part II!

I can’t believe how many movies I missed in  my first post on this subject! So, here’s another one :)

Two movies had been suggested to me with my first post, so I’ll start with those…Desk Set starring Katherine Hepburn as the feisty librarian, Bunny (but didn’t she always play “feisty”!?). A fun Tracy and Hepburn movie  that takes place in the reference department of a television and radio station.

The other librarian movie suggested (that I overlooked) is Party Girl starring the fiesty (another pattern?) Parker Posey (who I love!) as Mary. She goes from party girl to library clerk and discovers her true calling…how can you not love that!? The scene below is funny…however, I don’t recommend handling that particular scenario the way Mary does : )

And just when I thought Noah Wylie from The Librarian series of movies was the only male librarian (in a movie), I found some more! Peter Sellers portrays John Lewis  in Only Two Can Play. He’s a “henpecked” husband (why are women always referred to as hens!?! I think I prefer tigers!)  who works as a librarian in a small Welsh town. His life becomes more complicated when a wife of a local councillor sets her sights on him.

Jason Robards is, yup, a librarian in Something Wicked This Way Comes. This movie is based on the Ray Bradbury book by the same name. The story involves two boys and a demonic circus with the frightening and mysterious Mr. Dark handing out wishes that are too good to be true, and the heroic (yes, I did say heroic) librarian, Charles Halloway. This is a Disney flick but it’s darker than what you’d expect.

The Shawshank Redemption features a male librarian and Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne who assists in the prison library. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, do yourself a favour and SEE IT! Fantastic movie!

The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag stars Penelope Ann Miller as Mrs. Elizabeth Louise ‘Betty Lou’ Perkins. She portrays a librarian in a small town who confesses to a murder that she didn’t commit…just for the attention! She is, surprise surprise, a mousy librarian!

Tony Randall plays 8 roles in the 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. I still remember being freaked out by this movie as a child. Barbara Eden plays the librarian Angela who is seduced by Pan from a mysterious…circus?!. Adventure and seduction…just what every librarian needs!

This last one is one of my favourite movies, The Station Agent. It stars Peter Dinklage as Finn who inherits a train depot where he takes up residence. He’s a loner by choice but some of the locals  essentially  worm their way into his life. The librarian character is not a main character but I really wanted to recommend this movie :) Finn visits the local library where Emily (portrayed by Michelle Williams) is the pretty librarian/library clerk/library assistant? This is a slow moving, character-driven movie so not for all tastes but I loved it!

So, what Hollywood is essentially trying to tell us is that we librarians are boring wallflowers and are in need of a good adventure to turn all of that around. And Hollywood always knows what it is talking about! I hope you enjoyed this list…I’m looking at more!

Beautiful Libraries of Europe: Part III and Done!

Part III is the final post in the European Libraries series. Although, as I said in Part I, there are many, many more!

The Rijksmuseum Research Library is the largest public art history research library in the Netherlands and has been around since 1885.

Salle de lecture de la Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève (Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons - CC-BY-2.0-fr)

Salle de Lecture Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve is located in Paris. This library inherited the writings and collections of one of the largest and oldest abbeys in Paris and was founded in the sixth century. An interesting fact, the names of 810 scholars are inscribed on the exterior of the library. The second picture (click on it for a larger picture), highlights the inscriptions.

The Strahov Monastery Library is located in Prague and is part of a monastery built in 1143. A fresco adorns the ceiling painted in 1794 and the library contains ancient printing presses found downstairs.

This is the National Library of Finland located in Helsinki. It is the oldest and largest scholarly library in Finland.

This is the end! I will be happy to do more in the series if there’s a really large clamour for it! :)

Beautiful Libraries in Europe: Part II

On to Part II!

Here is Herzog August Bibliothek, located in  Wolfenbüttel Germany and established in 1572. In 1666, it was one of the most famous baronial book collections and the collection of medieval manuscripts was one of the most important collections in Europe.

This next library is the El Escorial Library located in  San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain built in 1584. It contains approximately 5000 manuscripts, many of which are illuminated. Look at that ceiling!

The next is the National Library of St Mark’s or Biblioteca Marciana, located in Venice Italy. Built between 1537-1588, it houses at least a million books and 13000 manuscripts (and includes original scores of operas by Cavalli and Scarlatti). Just for fun, if you click on the second picture, it will take you to a Youtube video of a couple dancing the tango in that very room.

Lastly, there is the National Library of France, or La Bibliothèque nationale de France, located in Paris. It originated as a part of the private Royal Library at The Louvre in 1368. It currently has 30 million items housed in its walls.

Part 3 wil be the final post on the European Library series. Thanks for reading it so far!

Beautiful Libraries in Europe (After a Long Absence!) Part I

I thought I would take a short break from my supernatural-based posts and continue with the Beautiful Libraries series. There are so many beautiful libraries in Europe that the ones I’m featuring are just a drop in the bucket! So naturally, I’ve left some out. So, in no particular order…

This is an exterior and interior shot of the Austrian National Library or Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.  It is located in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna and is the largest library in Austria. The oldest book in its collection is from the Middle Ages and is about 640 years old! If you click on the first photo it will take you to the official library website and the second photo will take you to a panoramic tour of the inside of this amazing building!

This next library is the St. Gallen Abbey Library in Switzerland. The library was established by the monks in 717 who considered books as medicine for the spirit. So true! It is currently a Unesco World Heritage site.

The Bibliotecha Casanatense is located in Rome, Italy and was established in 1701. It contains medieval manuscripts, books, and incunabula as well as two globes (one of the world and one of constellations) hand-painted in 1716.

The Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-Generaal Den Haag is located at The Hague in The Netherlands. The official reporters of the Parliamentary Reporting Office record all proceedings and debates. These reports (Handelingen) are stored in the library. It was built in the 18th century with a glass dome for a ceiling to allow in natural light.

I will continue this in 2 more parts. My preference is to give information in small pieces at a time :)

More Beautiful Libraries (This Time We’ll Do the U.K.)

The second part involves libraries from Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland

The first one is the Long Room from the The Library of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. I saw this library last summer and it knocked my socks off! The photo just does not do it justice! It’s the largest research library in Ireland and its biggest draw is the famous Book of Kells, which is well worth seeing if you make it there!

The Book of Kells, created by Monks in 800

The National Library of Ireland is also found in Dublin and is a reference library (i.e. no borrowing privileges)

The Theology Room at St. Deiniol’s library in Wales is seen below and is considered the largest residential library in the U.K. It has over 250,000 books.

The Glasgow School of Art has the Charles Rennie Macintosh Library in Scotland. Wish I’d seen it while I was there but only had time for a tattoo…ah me, priorities…anyway, the library carries the name of Charles Rennie Macintosh as he was the architect of the school and library. He’s famous for his art nouveau style in art and furniture design.

The Signet Library in Edinburgh, Scotland was visited by King George IV who described the upper library as “the finest drawing room in Europe”.

This is the Duke of Humphrey’s Library at Oxford University in England. It’s the main research library of the University of Oxford and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe (established in 1602, making it 408 years old!).

The Hereford Cathedral Chained Library is an interesting one! The practice of chaining books was the normal practice for reference libraries starting in the Middle Ages until the 18th century. The Chained Library has been around since the 1100′s (making it close to a 1000 years old!).

Next is the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England. It’s a Victorian Gothic building and holds many illuminated manuscripts including a copy of the Gutenberg Bible.

Lastly, we have the Old British Reading Room in the British Museum, London, England. The British Museum is the oldest museum in the world (1753) and features the Rosetta Stone. The Reading Room only opened to the general public for the first time in 2000. The Reading Room sits at the heart of the Great Court and has been used by the likes of Karl Marx, Rudyard Kipling, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, and Mahatma Gandhi.

That’s it for this part…next is Europe. That one will take me while!

Thanks again for reading. Please let me know if you’re enjoying this blog or if you know of other libraries you should like me to add!

Beautiful Libraries (or, I Wish I Worked There!)

I seem to really like making lists…so here’s another one! I thought I would pull together photos of some of the beautiful libraries in North America.

The Library of Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario looks gorgeous! I shall have to get there some day! Its picture is on our $10 bill…

This picture was taken the day after a fire burnt down the building next the the library which was untouched in 1916.

The Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at the University of Toronto has an ugly exterior but is beautiful inside. I was lucky enough to take a class right in the middle of this library and was surrounded by these beautiful, rare books every week! It contains some Egyptian papyrus manuscript fragments from 245 B.C. as well as Darwin’s proof copy with annotations of On the Origin of  Species (both of which I had a chance to see).

The next are from the U.S. This first one is, of course, the Library of Congress in Washington. It’s the largest library in the world with 22 million catalogued books!

Here we have the Library of the Boston Anthenaeum. It was established in 1807,making it just over 200 years old!

Next is the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, which has the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works. Funny, you’d think you’d find that in England!

This is the Law Library…in Iowa! I love the spiral staircase! It’s apparently five stories.

Here is the New York City Public Library. It’s one of the largest public library systems in the U.S. and the one of the largest research libraries in the world. It’s been featured in many movies, such as Spider-Man, The Wiz, and of course, Ghostbusters.

This is the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and contains everything from Leonardo Da Vinci prints/drawings to Bob Dylan’s notes of Blowin’ in the Wind.

And lastly, the Suzzallo Library is a part of the University of Washington libraries in Seattle. I probably like it as it was built in the Gothic style…

These are just a few of the libraries in North America…I could do this all day! But, that would be boring. I will put up a few more posts on this topic…next will be the libraries in the UK and then in Europe (which in itself will probably need to be a two-parter!).

These libraries have made me realise that I need to travel more! Nothing can make me happier than seeing these libraries in person (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration…eating a hot fudge sundae would make me pretty happy!)

Librarians in Song (And You Thought I Was Done!)

Yes, I have more! There have been a number of songs written for librarians so here we go again…

The first song on my list is Librarian by My Morning Jacket. I’ve never heard this song before but I rather like it (of course my favourite lyric is “take off those glasses and let down your hair for me”…yeesh!)

This one is by New Zealand band, Haunted Love, called…you guessed it…Librarian

Karen by the Go-Betweens is about someone looking for “affection” and he “don’t want no hoochie-coochie-mama” and then goes on to say he wants “a tiger on bended knees”?!?!? What!?!?!

Jonathan Rundman wrote Librarian and it is a free download if you’re interested. It comes from his album entitled Public Library. He really must be a fan of libraries!  Anyway, click on the link just below here and have a listen.

Librarian by Jonathan Rundman

This next one is interesting (I thought). It’s called I Love My Library by Lunch Money who are an Indie rock band aimed at kids/families. Not a bad little ditty, actually. Have a listen:

I Love My Library by Lunch Money

I love this next one! Library by Cursor Miner, who is Robert Tubb from England. According to Uncut, his music is “electro Syd Barrett meets Aphex Twin meets Gary Numan with a touch of early Eno and a nod at Beck”. How can you not love this!?!

Tori Amos compiled her best songs into Tales of a Librarian. The concept was that a librarian is a “chronicler” and she also put together the collection within the confines of the Dewey Decimal Classification System. Beyond all that, there aren’t any songs about librarians on the album.

The Librarian’s are a band (that no longer exists) from California. They’re labelled a “power pop band” and were apparently not very librarian-like with a raucous stage performance. An interesting fact, one of the band members, Ryan Gan, got his MLIS and is now an actual librarian in California.

If that weren’t enough…there’s a band from West Virginia called Librarians. They call their music Indie…

There are more songs of course but I think I’ll stop there…

Thanks for reading, and watching, and listening :)

Addendum

Pam mentioned in the comments about how the video for Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears takes place in the library. So, being an 80′s fan, I thought I would add the video…enjoy!