Libraries in the comics

Libraries, and library people, are -as we all know – fascinating! All kinds of great things happen in libraries, and every day is a potential adventure for us.

This has not gone unnoticed.

There are many comics out there that are set in libraries, and when you read through them it can be so fun to say “Yes! That happened to me!” or “Eeek! That sounds so scary!”

Do you have other favorites? Add them in the comments below! We would love to hear about more!

One of the most famous library comics is the now-retired Unshelved. It’s all about the adventures of Dewey – a librarian who may not be the best example of great service. Other characters include his well-meaning (but not terribly effective) manager, the enthusiastic children’s librarian, a senior Reference librarian, and a few other library staffers.

You can follow the creators’ schedule, as they travel to all kinds of library conferences; and you can buy all kinds of neat things in their online store – including my favorite shirt:

Rex Libris is a slightly more fanciful look at working in a library.  “Follow the story of Rex Libris, the tough-as-nails Head Librarian at Middleton Public Library, and his unending struggle against the forces of darkness. Wearing his distinctive, super-thick bottle glasses and armed with an arsenal of powerful weapons, he strikes fear into recalcitrant borrowers, and can take on virtually any foe, from loitering zombies to fleeing alien warlords who refuse to pay their late fees. Nowhere is beyond his reach, thanks to the use of teleportation crystals (powered with pseudo-science) capable of instantly transporting Rex to the farthest corners of the universe. Even the occasional infestation of rogue, public domain literary characters in the library are dispatched with aplomb. With fists of steel and mind as sharp as a tack, Rex is a true guardian of knowledge, foe of the foolish, defender of the Dewey Decimal System, and the best hope for the future of civilization.”

You can find the adventures as they begin in the first book here:

Some comics are not specific to libraries, but have characters who work in libraries.

Questionable Content has several library workers, both student interns and managers.

Girls with Slingshots cheerfully looks at all kinds of situations, with a couple of the cast of characters as librarians. (Some of these are a little racy, so not really something to share with kids.)

Libraries are even part of Japanese manga: the series Library Wars is increasingly popular, selling well over 1 million copies in Japan. “In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves—the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it out for her!”

Here is a collection of individual cartoons on librarians. It is always fun to see how many different people are thinking about libraries! We play an important role in the pop culture – well deserved, of course.

And a few more individual cartoons. People just can’t get enough of the excitement in libraries! (Yeah – we’re THAT cool! You already suspected it, and you were completely right.)


2 thoughts on “Libraries in the comics”

    1. That is great – thanks! I didn’t realize she was from Minnesota; it’s always good to have locals producing fun material!

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