Libraries and Pop Culture: A Natural Partnership!

We have already established that library people are extremely cool, and naturally other people have taken notice of that! Libraries and library people are represented prolifically in popular culture. Last week we talked about libraries in the comics. And we are also well represented across all types of pop culture: books, movies, games, TV shows.

Pop culture is not just for fun (though, of course that would be fine!); there are many academic areas of study looking at aspects of pop culture. The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association holds annual conferences for people involved in pop culture scholarship from across the country, as well as smaller regional conferences.

Of course, they have a section just for Libraries, Archives, and Museums! (Disclaimer: I have presented twice at their annual conferences. And it was fantastic!!)

One of my studies looked at the images of library people in pop culture, to see what kind of images people in our profession were identifying with as part of their own professional image. If you would like to build up your own reference collection of library pop culture images, here are some of their suggestions (not in any order):

  • Rupert Giles, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show)
  • Dewey (and others), in Unshelved (webcomic)
  • Bunny (and others), in Desk Set (movie)
  • Mary, in Party Girl (movie)
  • Barbara Gordon, in Batgirl/Oracle (TV show, comic books)
  • Evie Carnahan, in The Mummy/The Mummy Returns (movies)
  • Clarice and Carol, in Girls with Slingshots (webcomic)
  • Madam Pince, in Harry Potter (books, movies)
  • Mrs. Phelps, in Matilda (book, movie)
  • Marion the Librarian, in Music Man  (musical/movie)
  • The Librarian/orang-utan, in Discworld (book series)
  • Theo and Cleo, in Between the Lions (children’s TV show)
  • Tammy, from Parks and Recreation
  • Rex Libris, in Rex Libris (comic)
  • characters in Questionable Content (web comic)
  • Mary Hatch Bailey, in It’s a Wonderful Life (alternate future)
  • Nancy Pearl (person and figurine)
  • Henry DeTamble, from The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • The Pagemaster (movie, books)
  • Connie, in No Man of Her Own (movie)
  • Sylvia, in An Extremely Goofy Movie  (movie)
  • Sara, in Sleeping with the Enemy (movie)
  • Gloria Mundy, in Foul Play (movie)
  • Charles Halloway, in Something Wicked This Way Comes (novel)
  • Alicia Hull, in Storm Center (movie)
  • Librarian at the New York Public Library, in Ghostbusters (movie)
  • Flynn Carsen, in The Librarian (tv movie series)
  • Miss Franny Block, in Because of Winn-Dixie (book, movie)
  • Brooks Hatlen, in Shawshank Redemption (book, movie)
  • Lynn Wells, in Major League (movie)

Do you have pop culture images of libraries and library people? Share them in the comments!