Librarian Appreciation Day: Favorite Fictional Librarians
Librarians are magical creatures who guard the gateways into countless worlds, keep and organize knowledge, inspire us to find our next great read, make new volumes available to their community, and field the ridiculous questions of the public.
While their job sounds nice and cozy— and certainly can be from time to time —they don't always get the appreciation they deserve for remembering where everything goes and doing people's leg work for them.
So if you see a librarian today, tell them how much you appreciate what they do for you. In the meantime, check out this list of my favorite fictional librarians!
BELLE FRENCH-GOLD (ONCE UPON A TIME)
Library: Storybrook Library, the second library gifted to her by her husband
Belle’s story is greatly influenced by her mother, who shared with Belle a love of books and sacrificed herself to save Belle when ogres attacked their home. Between her mother’s heroism and their favorite story, Belle is determined to be more than a pretty wife—she wants to be a hero, just like her mother and favorite characters. She is incredibly brave, understanding, forgiving, and always up for an adventure.
Specialty: Taming/befriending beasts, restoring old libraries, amnesia, magic research, language lady (reads and understands Chinese, Elvish, and Fairy).
Sometimes, the best book has the dustiest jacket . . .and sometimes . . . the best teacup . . . is chipped.
OLIVIA CALIBAN (A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS)
Library: Prufrock Preparatory School
I'm so happy she got an extended, reversed role in the Netflix series. While Olivia is a cowardly, backstabbing, people-pleasing former lover of Count Olaf in the books, in the show she is a well-meaning librarian who stumbles upon the Baudelaire’s struggle, tries to help, and is recruited into the V.F.D., where she becomes a serious badass. Though her fate as Madame Lulu remains unchanged, her actions and intentions are heroic, making her end a heartbreaking one.
Specialty: Telling off bankers, helping orphans.
Look at me, a part of a noble and heroic organization, finally putting my innate physical dexterity and extensive training in library science to the purpose for which they were made.
EVELYN "EVIE" CARNAHAN-O'CONNELL (THE MUMMY)
Library: Cairo Museum of Antiquities
Ambitious and brave, when we first meet Evie she dreams of discovering the Book of Amun Ra. She gets her wish, and much more, when her story collides with Richard O’Connell. During their many adventures, Evie learns how to fight and becomes quite the ass-kicker. This is emphasized when she regains memories of her previous life as Nefertiti.
Specialty: Reading hieroglyphs, wielding sais, showing the men how it's done.
Look, I—I may not be an explorer or—or an adventurer or—or a treasure seeker or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am. I . . . am a librarian.
RUPERT GILES (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER)
Library: Sunnydale High School
Librarian by day, Watcher by night, Rupert Giles is the tweed-clad mentor tasked with guiding the Slayer. He’s the adorable, sometimes awkward, magical British dad we all want. Don’t let his polite English gentleman demeanor fool you; Giles is willing to stoop to violence, especially when it comes to those he cares about.
Specialty: A natural proficiency for magic, demonology, several languages, kicking monster ass, singing and playing guitar, and occasionally getting knocked out.
Books smell. Musty and rich. The knowledge gained from a computer, it has no texture, no context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last, then the getting of knowledge should be tangible, it should be . . . smelly.
MR. DEWEY (THE PAGEMASTER)
Library: Local public library
Known as the Pagemaster, as well as the Keeper of the Books and Guardian of the Written Word, Mr. Dewey is an eccentric librarian who sends the protagonist on a journey to discover his courage, as well as a love of books. While his appearance is brief, it is endearing.
Specialty: Transporting kids into magical realms, bringing books to life, pushing library cards.
“Richard Tyler, consider this your passport to the wonderful and quite unpredictable world of books.”
MADAM IRMA PINCE (HARRY POTTER)
Library: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
This birdlike woman takes her job very seriously. Her strict, overprotective (of the books) nature leads nearly all Hogwarts students to dislike her. Though she isn’t exactly a ray of sunshine, she's only angry when she feels the library and/or its books are being disrespected.
*Fun fact: She was on the card accompanying my first chocolate frog. I was mildly disappointed (lol).
Specialty: Casting hexes and jinxes on books to protect them, shushing.
"A warning: If you rip, tear, shred, bend, fold, deface, disfigure, smear, smudge, throw, drop, or in any other manner damage, mistreat, or show lack of respect towards this book, the consequences will be as awful as it is within my power to make them." — Pince's note in a library book
WAN SHI TONG (ATLA)
Library: Personal collection assembled over dimensions and centuries
An ancient spirit and collector of knowledge who loves learning almost as much as he loves bragging about how much he knows. He is the oldest librarian in the world who brought his library over from the Spirit World in hopes that humans would use it to better themselves and society. When they disappoint him, he bans humans from his library.
Specialty: Requiring those who use his library leave a contribution to it.
I am Wan Shi Tong, he who knows ten thousand things, and you are obviously humans; which, by the way, are no longer permitted in my study.
LEHABAH (HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD)
Library: Griffin Antiquities
While it isn’t technically a library so much as a personal collection, Lehabah is a fire sprite tasked with guarding the contraband, including forbidden magical books, beneath the studio. Just like her tiny body, Lele is fiery—flirty, sassy, sexy, and super protective of her friends.
Specialty: Fire magic, gossip, watching trashy TV.
“Then let the world know that my first act of freedom was to help my friends.”
GWYNETH BERDARA & NESTA ARCHERON (A COURT OF SILVER FLAMES)
Library: A library in Velaris, the City of Starlight
Like most of the priestesses who work in the library, Gwyn and Nesta have traumatic pasts which greatly impact their personalities. While Gwyn can come off as a bit timid, Nesta is short-tempered and walled-off. After Nesta begins working a the library and a friendship blooms, they both undergo incredible transformations.
We see Gwyn is fiercely competitive and loyal, as well as a beautiful singer, while Nesta proves to be a deeply caring person who acts as a sort of big sister to Gwyn. The way they share books is absolutely adorable.
Specialty: [Gwyn] Singing, trash talking; [Nesta] Death glare, forging magical objects, beheading her enemies; [Both] Illyrian and Valkyrie combat, reading smutty novels, making friendship bracelets.
“I like to read. I cannot survive without reading.” –Nesta
Library: Local public library
We can’t have a librarians post without honoring our very own, can we? Thanks to her, kids in our bumpkin town will have the opportunity to read more exciting books, as she is the youngest (and coolest) mind there. Which is a serious value to our community, where being open-minded isn’t always a good thing. When not at the library, she’s running the blog and writing incredible stories (watch for some of her work coming!).
Specialty: Coffee-chugging, creating magical worlds, moral support, sarcasm.
"When you can't find a book and the librarian pulls it off the shelf where it's supposed to be, that means you are not worthy and the library has forsaken you." - @J_A_Duncan on Twitter