Animation and “anti-social” male librarians

Continuing from the post last week, Jennifer Snoek-Brown lists another stereotype of librarians, specifically referring to male librarians who are the equivalent of the spinster woman stereotype. They are, in her description, people are hoard knowledge, are middle-aged to old, dress conservatively, have an unattractive physical appearance, and exhibit “poor social skills” either by being very unfriendly or elitist. Of course, these characters are supporting or minor characters “rarely seen outside the library.” In this post, I’d like to highlight examples of these characters in animated series in an attempt to counter the stereotype.

Librarian in She-Ra: Princess of Power

This elderly librarian with long white hair is a clear stereotype of an elderly librarian or even an archivist like Madame Nu in the Star Wars series (whether in the animation or film), asks Madame Razz if she is looking in the right place, saying she will only find a glowing book if she searches in the “inner library.” While they are excited to go in there, he warns them, saying that no one has gone in there are thousands of years and books are in unrecognized languages. They still go in regardless, as they are dedicated to their friends. The librarian wishes them “good luck in finding your book.” He is voiced by George DiCenzo.

Wizard librarian in Prisoner Zero

Librarian welcomes Tag, Zero, and Jem to his library as they stare at it with amazement

This librarian (as he calls himself), who first appears in the show’s sixth episode (“Librarian”), has a library buried deep inside of the Rogue, the spaceship that Zero, Jem, Tag, and others are traveling on through outer space. He seems like an old, frail fellow, voiced by Gary Martin, and he has some sort of magical powers which allow him to teleport people and disable devices. He later helps Zero, Jem, and Tag fight off those trying to take over the ship, unfolding the secrets of a scavenger into a book that they can all read together. Not only does his appearance fall into existing librarian stereotypes, but he is anti-social when he first sees Zero, Jem, and Tag, literally hiding from them until he thinks they “proved” themselves. The librarian is described by Tag as an “eight-foot tall blue wizard,” which is pretty accurate, to be honest. Even so, he does know about the robotic scavengers attacking the ship and even has a 3-D book to show them about it. At the end of the episode, Zero welcomes the librarian to their team! I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch the rest of the series, but when learning that the librarian appears, again and again, I felt I had no other choice than to watch the rest of the series. I’ll get to what I found, in the rest of the series, in another post, but I can say that he is shown in episode 7 but no library is shown.

Published by histhermann

Marylander with MLIS who loves archives, libraries, genealogy, reviewing pop culture, and writing fictional stories. UMD '19 & SMCM '16 grad. I've been running various WordPress blogs for a while now, about genealogy, libraries, archives, and more.

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