by Tiffany Newton, Head Editor, INALJ Missouri
Are Librarians Taking over the World?
Libraries are everywhere. I can’t think of one town that doesn’t have at the very least a public library. Schools also have libraries, colleges and universities have libraries, organizations like law firms and zoos have libraries. Hospitals have libraries; there are libraries in prisons, nursing homes, and cruise ships.
Of course, you knew about those libraries. What about archives, museums, publishers, library vendors, that all deal with information. I’m sure I’m missing some, so don’t think this is a comprehensive list. (For the rest of this article, I’m simply going to refer to all information professionals and information organizations as “librarians” or “libraries” but I really mean all of these things.)
Something I’ve also noticed recently is that libraries have invaded our culture. Libraries are in the books that I read, in the video games I play, in the television shows I watch. They can be found in commercials, on the radio, in magazine ads, even children’s cartoons. Sure we all know that there is a librarian in The Mummy and The Librarian is all about a library, but did you know there are libraries in Star Trek, Star Wars, Ever After, Indiana Jones, The Day After Tomorrow, 9, Random Quest, The Time Traveler’s Wife, and even in Oblivion? And that’s just in movies!
Most television shows have at least one scene or episode that takes place in a library, around a library, or with a librarian of some kind. Once Upon a Time, NCIS, The Golden Girls, Downton Abbey, and Doctor Who just to name a few.
Children’s televisions shows also often contain libraries. Dogs like Snoopy, Goofy, and Scooby all visit the library, as do the children in The Magic School Bus and Recess. Phineas and Ferb have library cards too.
So maybe it’s just American media? How do you explain Japanese anime that contain libraries? Read or Die, Library War, Kampfer, and Fullmetal Alchemist, all feature libraries at some point in time.
And those awful things that take up way too much of our time and try to sell us things? You know, I’m talking about commercials. They have librarians in them, too. Companies use librarians to sell us things like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Dunkin Donuts coffee, Mercedes-Benz vehicles, Geico Insurance, even Fruit Gushers!
Okay, so that’s on television, well I mentioned games too. How about Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, or Halo? The Super Mario Brothers visited a library, as did Spyro the Dragon.
It seems like everywhere I turn, every show I watch, every movie I see, every game I play, the librarians are always there! They are secretly taking over the world!! Don’t believe me? Check out these videos and articles:
- YouTube Playlists for Librarians in various media
- Pinterest board for libraries in Movies and Television
- Reel Librarians by Jennifer Snoek-Brown about librarians in movies
- Another entire blog devoted to libraries and librarians in movies
- Libraries in Movies, an article from our very own Courtney Butler of INALJ ID!
- More videos about Libraries in television and movies
- An annotated filmography about librarians in movies
I dare you to look for libraries, librarians, museums, curators, archives, archivists, etc., in the next movie or television show you watch, or in the next game you play. You will be surprised how often you find them!
*Naomi House added the Reel Librarians blog 🙂