Tag Archives: opinion

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!)

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Ah, yes! We Mustn’t Forget About Librarians on T.V.!

Alright! Let’s round out this series with librarians in TV shows!

The Librarians is a comedy television series that premiered in Australia in 2007. The Librarians follows the story of librarian Frances O’Brien who is Catholic (and racist) and is forced to hire a former friend (who is a drug dealer) as the children’s librarian. Apparently, the producers researched for the show with real librarians and have consequently not included shushing and glasses (I seem to have a real bee in my bonnet over glasses…)

Ahhh…the lovely and talented Giles! Yet another male librarian! He hails from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and is attractive, a wealth of knowledge (but of course), kicks butt on occasion, and is British! For the uninitiated, Giles is Buffy’s Watcher and is basically there to help her out in slaying vampires.

This video is from a kid’s show called All That, in which there was a librarian that was constantly telling people to keep the noise down but she herself made a lot of racket (yelling, using power drills etc…). I have to admit, there have been times when closing the library that a gong would have come in handy!

Funnily enough, this TV series features…Marion the Librarian! This was a kid’s show from clearly a while back (80’s). I won’t go through the synopsis since it’s all explained in the clip above.

A librarian was featured in a Twilight Zone episode entitled The Obsolete Man, starring Burgess Meredith. He portrays a librarian in a future totalitarian state, who is put on trial for the crime of being “obsolete.” Apparently, the State has eliminated literacy (whaaa!?!?) and being a librarian is punishable by death. There’s nothing like a bit of knowledge to throw a wrench into the works…

And here we have a clip from Monty Python’s Flying Circus (series 1, episode 10) featuring a gorilla being interviewed for a librarian position. Only from Monty Python :)

Seinfeld ran an episode wherein Kramer dated a librarian. The above clip is from the same episode…one of the funniest scenes from Seinfeld in my opinion!

Lastly (but not least…I am a bit of a Star Trek buff), in the original series of Star Trek, Mr. Atoz was a librarian in the All Our Yesterdays episode. His name is a play on “A to Z”.  From StarTrek.com:

Last inhabitant of the planet Sarpeidon. Mr. Atoz and several duplicates of himself oversaw a vast library in the atavachron, a time-portal device that allowed inhabitants of the doomed planet to travel back to the past in order to escape their inevitable doom.

I hope you enjoyed this series! I might very well follow through with more but I’m thinking of other things now :)

Books! My Other Favourite Subject! Let’s Do Librarians Again!

So, I did have a request for books featuring librarians…and being a librarian, I really should talk about books. In no particular order.

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series features a librarian who was magically transformed into an orangutan. The librarians in this series have magical powers…but don’t get too excited, the powers are only related to books and library work. Did you notice that the orangutan is wearing glasses?! Ah me…librarian’s in glasses we cannot escape (although many do wear glasses, I have to admit…rather sheepishly).

Kingsley Amis wrote That Uncertain Feeling which says on the cover, “the hilarious misadventures of a librarian in an out of love”. It’s a satirical look at a married Welsh librarian who has an affair with a local (and married) socialite. It was also made into a movie that starred Peter Sellers as the librarian.

Charlaine Harris is famous for her vampire novels featuring Sookie Stackhouse. She also wrote the Aurora Teagarden mystery series where the main character, Aurora “Roe” Teagarden, the local librarian, solves the crimes. Aurora is described as 4’11” and wears…glasses…yup!

Next is Richard Peck’s Here Lies the Librarian. This is the description from the book because I’m too lazy to retype it in my own words:

Peewee idolizes Jake, a big brother whose dreams of auto mechanic glory are fueled by the hard road coming to link their Indiana town and futures with the twentieth century. And motoring down the road comes Irene Ridpath, a young librarian with plans to astonish them all and turn Peewee’s life upside down.

I like the “shhh” on the headstone. I try so hard not to shush people :)

The Magic Tree House series written by Mary Pope Osbourne features Annie and Jack who travel through space and time and around the world on many adventures. Both of the kids become “Master Librarians” and gather books for Morgan Le Fay’s library.

The next book is The Time Traveler’s Wife which I loved! Written by Audrey Niffenegger it features the main character, Henry De Tamble, as a librarian in Chicago. He suffers from “Chrono Displacement” which makes him involuntarily jump through time. It was of course, made into a movie starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. One of the few books that made me cry…

Then we have Stephen King’s It. One of the main characters is Mike Hanlon, who is a librarian in the small town of Derry, Maine. Does he save the day? Not quite, but he is involved in one of the creepiest scenes that takes place in the library. It also features the creepiest/scariest clown you’ll ever read about. But we wont go there…

Next, I will give honourable mention to some manga/graphic novels that feature librarians.

The first is the Oracle from Batman, who is Barbara Gordon (who used to be Batgirl). She was paralysed thanks to the Joker and is now a savvy librarian.

Then we have Read or Die where Yomiko Readman works for the Library of England in search of rare and powerful books. What can I say? I love the title!

Lastly, we have the librarian Lucien from Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman graphic novels. Lucien tends to The Dreaming’s library, where all the books that are dreamt of, but never written, are contained. I’ve always wanted to read these novels, particularly since I’m such a big fan of Neil Gaimans!

That’s it for now…again, there are many more books out there but this was meant to be a brief overview. I think I might explore T.V. next…