always heartening to discover a new species of “magnificent obsession”
on the Net. Even better if you share something of that interest.
Well, one or two readers might recall that in
(January 1998) this former librarian wrote about online library
catalogues, and today’s the day I’m going to unveil some sites that
reflect a special aspect of things bibliothecarian. Welcome to Internet
Coverage of Libraries and Librarians in Literature, Movies and Song.
It’s more extensive than you might have expected.
Libraries in Science Fiction. This is a 4,000-word article by
James Gunn, himself a writer of science fiction. Authors represented
include Isaac Asimov, Jorge Luis Borges, Robert A. Heinlein, David H.
Keller, H. P. Lovecraft, Walter Miller, Jr., Eric Frank Russell and
George R. Stewart.
detective story readers there’s
addition to browsing alphabetically, you can look under categories such
as Short Stories, Juvenile Books, Media, References, Detectives and
Series, Authors in Bibliomysteries and Weapons. Links are also provided.
Image of the Librarian in Fiction and News Reports is in the
form of a presentation and
reproductions of slides are included.
this presentation we will look at the image of the librarian throughout
history, from the
Ages, right through to the present day . . . and beyond.
depictions of librarians are also covered.
fascinating bibliography is to be found at
Librarians As Characters In Fiction. The following topics are
covered: Children’s Picture Books, Intermediate Readers, Young Adult
Books, Adult Fiction (General), Adult Mystery, Adult Romance. Poetry,
too, is addressed.
in the Movies, An Annotated Filmography has in excess of 550
films listed. Regularly maintained, this site provides, among other
features, a title index of the films, a list of actors and actresses who
have portrayed librarians, plus a short bibliography of articles about
librarians in the movies.
we come to
the often incorrect rep of libraries being quiet places, there are
dozens of songs
about them. Some are great, some are just terrible.
“extremely appalling”, please, though the examples from The Beatles,
Jimmy Buffett, Tom Chapin and Elvis Costello aren’t too bad. Devoted to
lyrics only, the site is laid out in two categories: songs about
libraries/librarians, and songs about books/reading.
many librarians does it take to change a light bulb? As you’ll see at
IFLANET Library Humour
(International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions), it
depends on what sort of librarians they are: reference librarians,
cataloguers . . .
of other library humour sites are
Cartoons: An Annotated Bibliography and
Librarians in Comics. Note: in the latter there are no cartoons
shown, but enough description for each cartoon to make the joke clear.
For instance, it lists a strip or cartoon called Librarian New Year’s
Celebrations which shows a female librarian in glasses blowing into
a party noisemaker that makes a “shhh” sound.
particular library, the British Museum, deserves its own mention here.
is famous for its weather, so much so that George Gershwin’s A Foggy
Day has been
by artists ranging from Fred Astaire to David Bowie. In the song,
becomes a metaphor for loneliness:
foggy day in London Town
me low and had me down
viewed the morning with alarm
British Museum had lost its charm.
Aspects of E. M. Forster, there’s reproduced the text of a
plaque at the front of the old circular Reading Room, which shows
authors with some connection to the B.M. As well as Forster these
include Max Beerbohm, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Gissing, David
Lodge (who set a large part of his funny novel The British Museum is
Falling Down in the Reading Room) and Karl Marx.
for quietly enthusiastic librariana, then. You never know: one of these
days I may do something similar on other professions/occupations.