Jun 22, 2012

Friday Five: Famous Librarians

People like to start singing "Marian the Librarian" when I announce my future career.  Let me rephrase that.  Musical nerds like to start singing "Marian the Librarian" when I announce my future career.  That got me thinking: is this fake librarian the only one people think of? No, some of them also think of Giles from Buffy, but those people are usually in library school because as I said before, librarians are freaking nuts about that slayer. 

So I did a little investigating to find some other librarians people either should know about or are already familiar with and just don't know it yet. 

Five Famous Librarians

1) Benjamin Franklin
Yes, the man you once depicted in a play, probably while holding a kite and a key, was once a librarian.  Yes, that same man who said the turkey should be America's representative and not an eagle.  He founded the first American public library in Philadelphia called the Library Company of Philadelphia.  He acted as a librarian for a few months in its beginnings.  I once fought someone over this.  He claimed it was Thomas Jefferson.  I won.  Other fun little trivia facts: Franklin was on the first national U.S. five cent postage stamp, was the first Postmaster General, started the first fire department, and invented a whole mess of stuff.

2) Nancy Pearl
You may have seen her before.  She has an action figure modeled after her.  Seriously.  Granted, her action figure perpetuates all the stereotypes that come with being a librarian, but still she is living the dream.  She is a retired Seattle librarian and used to make radio appearances to recommend books.  She is basically a real-life, cool version of Frasier.  She has a ton of recognition and awards for her love of literature and work, including the 2011 Library Journal's Librarian of the Year Award. 

3) J. Edgar Hoover
Before cracking down on suspected communists, Hoover was a cataloguer for the Library of Congress.  Apparently people who worked alongside him believed he would one day end up being chief librarian had he not chosen to pursue gangsters. 

4) Joanna Cole
The author of the Magic School Bus series was also an elementary school librarian for some time.  No wonder the creator of Miss Frizzle knows so much about how to engage a child in science.  Librarians know how to do everything. 

That's why her hair's so big.  It's full of secrets!
5) Mao Zedong (Chairman Mao)
Yup. That guy.  He worked as an assistant librarian at the Peking University Library under Li Dazhao, a Marxist who taught Mao all about the wonders of communism and succeeded in converting him.  Congrats?

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know Ben Franklin was a librarian. And one great one you missed -- Beverly Cleary! She wrote the Ramona books because kids kept coming in to her library asking to read books about kids "like them". :)