Friday, August 19, 2005

Another librarian blog!

On my way to work this morning for some sad reason my brain started thinking about librarians in books I've read recently. This was probably due to all the publicity for the Da Vinci Code at the moment but hey, good subject for a blog!

In The Time Traveller’s Wife the main character Henry thinks that a career choice of being a librarian is a very suitable job to combine with his time travelling antics. He spends a lot of time in the stacks shelving (and often naked) to avoid users when he knows he might pop off at any time. In real life they would track him down, and even if he had gone back 25 years there would still be someone wanting to know how to use the photocopier. I once knew a “librarian” (for want of a better word) who used to go off to the stacks to have a sleep. Do you think he was time travelling too? Now I do love this book, but my practical librarian mind has issues with it. Why didn’t he become an accountant? No one would have noticed if he’d disappeared. Or in the words of someone I know was it because librarianship doesn’t require any brainpower and is mindless, so when he popped up again after a time travel, he could carry on as if nothing had happened. I don’t think so!

The Da Vinci Code: this book is great because it has a librarian from King’s College Library where I used to work. However, this book is quite obviously fiction as the librarian lets someone in who ISN’T A MEMBER and then MAKES THEM A CUP OF TEA. In a library. It would never happen. Period. The mere sight of food or drink in the vicinity of books can turn even the mildest-mannered librarian into a spitting raging ball of fury. (As an aside, I think it’s hilarious that Tom Hanks (mild-mannered actor) has been assailed by crazed nuns who think he represents the anti-christ. Poor old Tom, it’s only a day-job love, you’ll be back filming worthy yet uncontroversial films soon…)

Ghostbusters: I have a special place in my heart for this film as it starts off with ghosts in a library. But did they really have to trash the joint? I think the librarians on duty at the time would have been much better placed to politely ask the offending spectres to leave, rather than bringing in the big guns and destroying the shelving. Ah yes that brings me on to The Mummy. This film infuriates me. Kooky Rachel Weisz plays a librarian who obviously wasn’t born to the job. When she knocks all the shelves down she doesn’t look remotely guilty or concerned about the fate of the books she’s destroyed. And then she decides to go off and fight supernatural beasties. Most typical librarians would choose to remain in the libraries and let the heroic types risk their necks. And I bet she was supposed to be on the issue desk!

I’m sure there’s loads more librarians in film and fiction, but my brain just died. The sad indexer part of me every now and then when I read a book with a librarian in it thinks “ooh I should start a list” but thankfully my more normal self has prevailed so far! But is this blog the beginning of my downfall?!?!

1 comment:

  1. In The Paper Chase some frantic students break into the Harvard law library. They are desperate to be in that library!