animation comedy fantasy Fiction genres Librarians Libraries public libraries White people

Libraries in the Simpsons

Libraries come up time and again in The Simpsons, many more times than they show up in Futurama, despite the fact that some of the same people made the latter show. There are some mentions of the library in the series which I’m not going to mention here, [1] so I’ll try to mention the important ones in this short post.

The first time, I believe, a library is shown is the episode “Bart the General,” where Bart is explaining the costs of war (with some exceptions like World War II, the American Revolution, and the Star Wars Trilogy), imploring people to learn more about it by traveling to their local public library:

Apart from Sideshow Bob smoking a cigar in “Cape Feare,” at a showing of a film at the library, in “Dog of Death,” there is a news report about “lottery fever,” which includes a bulletin saying that every book about the lottery has been checked out from the local library, the Springfield public library:

In “Marge the Lam,” there is a joke about the convenience store and the public library, as Homer confuses both. And a librarian challenges the preacher about borrowing a book (the Bible specifically) in the episode “Bart the Mother.” And he has a spat with the librarian after that.

And the joke about a librarian who “only read about dancing in books” in the episode “Last Tap Dance in Springfield.” That’s all I could find in a search on Frinkiac, although I know this isn’t comprehensive.

© 2021 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] I’m talking about episodes like “Much Apu About Nothing,” “Bart After Dark,” “I Love Lisa,” “Lisa’s Substitute,” “Lady Bouvier’s Lover,” “Homerpalooza,” “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish,” “Homer vs. Patty and Selma,” “You Only Move Twice,” “Treehouse of Horror VI,” “Krusty Gets Busted,” “Marge on the Lam,” and “Some Enchanted Evening.”


By Burkely Hermann

Burkely Hermann joined the National Security Archive as an Indexer and Metadata Librarian in March 2020, using his experience with arrangement, indexing, electronic databases, cataloging, metadata creation, and knowledge of history on a daily basis. In December 2019, he completed his Master of Library and Information Science, specializing in Archives and Digital Curation, at University of Maryland. In 2016, he received a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Political Science and a minor in History, from St. Mary's College of Maryland. He previously interned at the National Archives II facility in College Park and worked at the Maryland State Archives, Digital Curation and Innovation Center, and the Enoch Pratt Free Library. He is also a member of the Society of American Archivists. In his free time, he researches his family genealogy, serves as a judge for National History Day, which he participated in for several years, writes fictional works, and keeps up with changes in the library and archives fields. He currently runs seven WordPress blogs, primarily about his family history, or reviewing archives and libraries in pop culture.

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