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Vocational awe and fictional depictions of librarians

Some time ago, I came across tweets by Fobazi Ettarh expressing her disappointment that people defended a White female librarian who called a Black woman a racist term, then doubled down on her tweet. From there, I followed the links and came upon her 2018 In the Library with the Lead Pipe article, “Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves.” I had read it before, but I decided to give it a read again and thought as to how this could be applied to what I’ve written about on this blog in the past. Originally I was planning to put every point she made in the article into one blogpost, but that seemed to be squeezing too many ideas into one place, so I split off many of her points into specific blogposts, to fully explore what she says and to explain more how can relate to fictional depictions of librarians.

Ettarh began her article noting librarians “administering the anti-overdose drug Naloxon,” saying that while this seems natural at first, with these librarians working to “save the democratic values of society as well as going above and beyond to serve the needs of their neighbors and communities,” the rhetoric around this “borders on vocational and sacred language” instead of “acknowledging that librarianship is a profession or a discipline, and as an institution, historically and contemporarily flawed, we do ourselves a disservice.” She goes on to define “vocational awe” as a “set of ideas, values, and assumptions librarians have about themselves and the profession that result in beliefs that libraries as institutions are inherently good and sacred, and therefore beyond critique.” [1]

There are undoubtedly fictional librarians believe that institutions are seen as “good and sacred,” and “beyond critique,” especially since these characters are almost universally created by those who haven’t been librarians, have worked in libraries, have library degrees, and so on. As such, their views of libraries are informed by popular perceptions. As such, some characters clearly see librarianship as a vocation or a calling, based on the Christian tradition of calling requiring a “monastic life under vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience” as Ettarh points out.

One of those characters is Myne in Ascendance of a Bookworm who works in a church library, which she had been excited to be a part of. Unfortunately, in Part 3 of the series, she is not shown in the library. Instead, she is only shown being denied from the library and becomes subservient to authority, which is sad to see for her character.

This different from previous parts of the series, in which she undoubtedly sees her role as a librarian as one of obedience. Through all of the series, her role as a librarian becomes interconnected with her role as a gray-robed priest. This related to what Ettarh adds about  vocation within librarianship. She argues that she has “allusions to religiosity and the sacred” and states that libraries created with the “same architectural design as churches in order to elicit religious awe.” She goes onto say that awe is a overwhelming and fearful feelings rather than a comforting one, meant to elicit “obedience from people in the presence of something bigger than themselves.”

This differs from O’Bengh, also known as Cagliostro, in an episode of What If…?. He is a sorcerer who works in a library, which looks exactly like a temple. He is a manifestation of librarians as priests. Sometimes it isn’t as explicit as his character. As I noted in the aforementioned post, O’Bengh falls into the librarian as an information provider stereotype. The fact the library is a temple, this, as I noted in that post, furthers the perception that libraries, and by extension librarians, are sacred. In many ways, he acts like a monk inside of a monastery who never leaves the monastery, as he never appears in any other episodes.

Ettarh goes onto argues that vocational awe manifests itself in “response to the library as both a place and an institution,” with library workers easily paralyzed by the “sacred duties of freedom, information, and service.” As a result of these “grand missions,” advocating for a full lunch break or taking a mental health day “feels shameful.” This awe is “weaponized against the worker,” meaning that there can be vocational purity test of sorts in which a worker “can be accused of not being devout or passionate enough to serve without complaint.”

Shown at 45:29 in this film. She comes back for a scene at 47:24 where she is shelving books

In some ways this is weaponized against librarians. Take for instance Gabrielle (voiced by Victoire Du Bois) in I Lost My Body. She has an annoying supervisor who fits many librarian stereotypes and attempts to stop Gabrielle from talking to Naoufel (voiced by Hakim Faris), the show’s other protagonist, who is checking out books. While she is shown to be hard at work shelving books elsewhere in this mature film, she also is enforcing library rules and expectations all at the same time, with Gabrielle dubbing her “Mrs. Watchtower”. Since the library scene is so short and we see the movie mainly from Naoufel’s perspective, we don’t know the motivations of this annoying supervisor, who doesn’t even have a voice actor, and fellow librarian.

The same can be said about Amity Blight (voice by Mae Whitman) in The Owl House. In the episode “Through the Looking Glass Ruins”, her boss, Malphas (voiced by Fred Tatasciore) fires her after she is found in a forbidden section of the library. Although she isn’t supposed to be there, she is trying to help Luz Noceda (voiced by Sarah Nicole-Robles), who later becomes her girlfriend, find a book about a previous human traveler to this magical world. She accepts the consequences but Luz gets Amity’s library card back after going through a series of trials. Not surprisingly, Amity is grateful and kisses Luz on the cheek.

Ettarh writes that librarianship by its very nature privileges those within the status quo. She goes onto see that those outside of the center of librarianship can see more clearly, for the most part, disparities between reality of library work and “espouse values.” She goes onto say that vocational awe refuses to acknowledge libraries as flawed institutions, meaning that when marginalized librarians, including people of color, speak out, their accounts are “often discounted or erased.” She adds that vocational awe ties the twin phenomenon of undercompensation and job creep, when employees are pressured to “deliver more than the normal requirements of their jobs” which is gradually increased by the employer, within librarianship due to workplaces that are self-sacrificing and service-oriented.

This results in, as Ettarh puts it, librarians becoming self-selected. It leads to expectations that entry-level library jobs need usually voluntary experience within a library, coupled with “class barriers built into the profession.” What this means that those who have financial instability and cannot work for free have to take out loans or switch careers entirely. Furthermore, those librarians with family responsibilities cannot “work long nights and weekends” and librarians with disabilities can’t make librarianship a “whole-self career.”

In animation this is shown in terms of oft-stereotype of White female librarians who are elderly spinsters. It is implied that such librarians, who are often strict, have experience in library school, degrees, and have been in the library for ages. It is further indicated that even if one moves beyond White librarians in animation, I can’t think of one librarian who is physically disabled, which Ettarh seems to be talking about in her article. Many of the librarians may be mentally disabled though, through their demeanor and actions. Often they are characters for only one episode, so there isn’t enough of a focus on them to know who they are as actual people. That is the nature of current depictions

Back to Ettarh, she further says that having an “emotional attachment” to your work is often valued, and says that while it isn’t a negative, vocational awe is endemic and “connected to so many aspects of librarianship.” She goes onto say that the problem with this is that efficacy of a person’s work is tied to their amount or lack of passion rather than “fulfillment of core job duties”. She adds that if being a good librarian is “directly tied to struggle, sacrifice, and obedience,” then the more one struggles in their work, their institution / work becomes “holier”. This means that people are less likely to “feel empowered…[or] to fight for a healthier workspace.” [2]

Poor Kaisa, she just wants to finish her library tasks of re-shelving books, but Hilda has to be persistent.

Perhaps this is what Kaisa, the ever popular librarian in Hilda feels as she feels exhausted in one episode. More than that, she is experiencing burnout. As I wrote in that post, Kaisa exhibits many of the characteristics of burnout, or what some call librarian fatigue. However, it is hard to know whether her workload is sustainable, if she has a lack of personal control over her workplace, if is insufficiently compensated or recognized, or has a lack of social support, which often leads to burnout. As I put it in that post, librarian burnout/fatigue is something which librarians need to discuss more openly and it should be shown more directly in fictional depictions.

As a reminder, burnout, as noted in that article, means a “syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who do ‘people work’ of some kind”. It is caused by factors such as an “unsustainable workload, role conflict…lack of personal control at work, insufficient recognition…lack of social support, a sense of unfairness, and personal values…at odds with the organization’s values.” This is connected with feelings of detachment and cynicism, a lack of accomplishment, sense of ineffectiveness, and overwhelming exhaustion, with physical symptoms including hypertension, muscle tension, headaches, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, and more.

I end with words from Ettarh. She writes that libraries are only buildings and that people inside, the librarians, do the work, who need to be treated well. She adds that “you can’t eat on passion. You can’t pay rent on passion. Passion, devotion, and awe are not sustainable sources of income.” She goes onto say that while libraries may have a purpose to serve,but is that purpose so high and mighty when it “fails to serve those who work within its walls every day”. She concludes by saying “we need to continue asking these questions…and stop using vocational awe as the only way to be a librarian.” That is something I have to agree with wholeheartedly.

© 2023 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] She also says that the article tries to “dismantle the idea that librarianship is a sacred calling…describe[s] the institutional mythologies surrounding libraries and librarians…dismantle[s] these mythologies by demonstrating the role libraries play in institutional oppression….[and] discuss[es] how vocational awe disenfranchises librarians and librarianship” in hopes that librarianship can “hopefully evolve into a field that supports and advocates for the people who work in libraries as much as it does for physical buildings and resources.”

[2] Ettarh defines a healthy workplace as “one where working around the clock is not seen as a requirement, and where one is sufficiently compensated for the work done” and says it is not a workplace where “the worker [is] taken for granted as a cog in the machinery.”

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Honoring six fictional librarians of Asian descent

Three APALA librarians
From left to right, Lessa Pelayo-Lozada (executive director of APALA, the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association), Candice Mack (previous APALA president), and Ray Pun (current APALA president). Images are from the and are used in accordance with fair use exception in U.S. copyright law. This is meant to illustrate real-life Asian librarians.

This month is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. To honor that, I’m focusing on six librarians of Asian descent which I’ve come across when watching animation since I began this blog, excluding the over 50 Japanese fictional librarians I’ve listed on this blog in the past. With that, let me get started!

There are four librarians who are arguably from Southeast Asia. One of the earliest I came across is an unnamed librarian in an episode of We Bare Bears aptly named “The Library”. Although it is not directly stated, she is a woman of Thai descent since Ashly Burch, who is presumably her voice actor, is half-Thai, with her mother from Thailand and her father from the U.S., making her multiracial. However, in an interview for The Nerds of Color she told them “I was used to relating to characters that were either white or other types of Asian,” adding “I’ve never gotten to play a Thai character” before voicing Molly McGee, the protagonist of The Ghost and Molly McGee.

So perhaps the librarian was not directly Thai, but portrayed as just in the “other types of Asian” category? No matter, because she is still a librarian of color regardless, with the fandom page for the episode identifying her as Thai, confirming what I’ve stated before. [1] In the episode, this librarian is frustrated with the protagonists, goes on break, and seems harsh at first, wanting them to pay their late fee. She later appears to be overwhelmed and suffering from burnout. In the end, she ends up helping them and seems to let them sleep in the library overnight. The latter is unique because usually that would never be allowed. But, perhaps she saw them working so steadily that she let them stay there and rest in peace. It’s hard to know.

It is worth pointing out, for reference, there are several levels of education for librarianship in Thailand and there’s library organizations like the Thai Library Association. The group describes libraries as a “driving force of society” for knowledge and learning. It also has a code of ethics which prioritizes user convenience, professional ethics, being strong social leaders, and more. None of this would apply to the aforementioned librarian, as We Bare Bears is set in the San Francisco Bay Area and more particularly in San Francisco itself. At first I thought she would, as such, be working at the San Francisco Public Library. Looking at the image shown of the library at the beginning of the episode, I looked at images of one of the many branches within the library system itself. None of them seemed to align with the image.

The Glesson Library seemed like a good guess, from the images I saw, and it didn’t look like the Prelinger Library either. It made me think a little about the J. Paul Leonard and Sutro Library, as the image looked a little similar, but that didn’t seem right either. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what library this is! It isn’t the Mission Bay FAMRI Library, Parnassus Campus Library, or ZSFG Library. Although Chloe goes to the University of California, it would make sense it is at a UC library.

According to World Cat, one edition of the Fourth Edition of Beilstein Handbook of Organic Chemistry is available at UCSD Library in San Diego at Stanford University Libraries, and another at Southern Regional Library Facility in L.A., and Langston Library in Irvine, California. Another version is available at UCSB Library in Santa Barbara, California. None of those are near San Francisco, or in the Bay Area, though. Digging into Chloe’s fandom page it states that “her college is most likely based off of UC Berkeley” but also states that another possibility for her college is “based on is California State University of Los Angeles.” Although I think the creators may have based the library on real life, I also think it could have just been created by the animators to look that way and not connected to a real location.

Coming back to the characters, the aforementioned librarian contrasts with the Flippy in the Happy Tree Friends episode “Random Acts of Silence“. Voiced by Kenn Navarro, a Filipino actor, he is one unique librarian, to say the least. At first, he stamps books, shushes people, takes a chair away from a patron, and sharpens a pencil from another. He soon becomes annoyed when a patron is making a lot of noise and the amount of noise gets to him. It makes him so angry he begins murdering patrons in the most cruel ways possible whether by using pencils through the eyes, with a pencil sharpener, with paper, a sword. Yikes! Through all of this, he still checks out a book to a patron and shushes the viewer at the end.

This is also different from Wong, a man from Hong Kong, voiced by Benedict Wong, in an episode of What If…? entitled “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” Sometimes Hong Kong is considered part of Southeast Asia, even though officially it is part of the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China. In any case, in the episode Wong helps Dr. Strange with his magical powers and fight to save the world from another version of himself. He is a librarian by association with the live-action films where he is shown as a librarian, although he isn’t directly a librarian in the episode.

first mention of Karma as a librarian in Mekanix
Narrator mentions, on issue 1 (possibly page 13), that Karma (with the silver hair) is a librarian and seemingly in love with Kitty (other woman in image)

Then, there’s Karma in Mekanix, who is a Vietnamese woman and is also a lesbian Mekanix is a six issue comic book limited series published from 2002 to 2003, which Chris Claremont wrote, Juan Bobillo pencilled and Marcelo Sosa inked. In the first issue it is noted she is a librarian who has the power to possess people and is also named Shan. Later issues introduce Katherine “Kitty” Pryde, former member of the X-Men, who has a shrink. It also turns out that Shan is a mutant as well and may be in love with Kitty, who is proud to be a mutant and a Jew. Kitty is also known as “Shadowcat.”

Sadly, the police suspect her of causing an explosion and turn her apartment upside down, even though she did nothing wrong, and she is at odds with Nazis known as “Purity” who are anti-mutant. It turns out that someone helped hack into the network and caused the explosion, while Kitty is on the run from terrorists out to kill her. Unfortunately, Shan is never shown as a librarian, just as an aspiring one in this comic, with hair that looks blue in a certain light.

She is shown as a badass with two kids and fighting robots with Kitty, though, who fights racists like no one’s business. However, according to her Wikipedia page, she worked as librarian for the University of Chicago as a student, as indicated in Mekanix, and later, in New Mutants  working as a librarian and French teacher.

In the latter, which is Vol. 2 of the collected edition, issues 4-7, where she is called Xi’an Coy Manh, and has a different appearance. In issue 4, she graduates from University of Chicago. She then later works as a librarian, shown behind the information desk, and helps some fellow students, even looking out a book for one, but he leaves before she can get the book. She later stands up for a fellow student who is a mutant.

Then, in issue 5, she looks at books at the Xavier Institute, and talks to Professor Xavier, and investigates into anti-Mutant groups. In later issues, she continues to fight those groups, and it indicates she is a teacher, specifically at the Xavier Institute.

Last but not least is Mira (voiced by Leela Ladnier), and her father, Sahil (voiced by Aasif Mandvi), in Mira, Royal Detective, which is set in 19th-century India, mostly taking place in the city of Jalpur. In the episode “The Case of the Missing Library Book”, Mira brings a mobile library to town. She even sings a song about it in the same episode and they (she and Sahil) do some library duties, and go on the case of finding a missing library book.

Later, in the episode “The Case of the Lost Puppy”; Mikku and Chikku help Mira return books to the mobile library.  Then, in “Mystery At The Sweet Sale“; Mira and others participate in a bake sale to raise money for the mobile library, so they can buy more materials. In this case, the more sweets they sell, more ability to fill empty shelves of the library, which is a good deal, if I ever heard one!

Shan at information desk in New Mutants
Shan at information desk in New Mutants

That’s all for this week. Until next week!

© 2023 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] The same page claims there is an elderly librarian in the episode. I’m not sure about that only because I’m not sure if the elderly woman is supposed to be a librarian or if she is just a helpful elderly patron. Interestingly, the Black librarian shown in episode 1 is shown sitting at a table with two other presumed librarians (a Black man with glasses and a White man), at one point, which I noticed on a rewatch, which I never noticed before, and then a second time.

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Celebrating fictional library workers

Happy May Day! Today is also known as Labour/Labor Day and International Workers’ Day, celebrating working classes and laborers, which is promoted by the international labor movement. It is celebrated every year. In her 2018 In the Library with the Lead Pipe article, “Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves,” Fobazi Ettarh stated that a lack of compensation for library work is nothing new, with underemployment issues as a continued source for unhappiness. Librarians continue to be paid hourly and isn’t a primary job for everyone, while the institution gains reduced price or free labor with the enforcement of awe through its “dramatic and heroic narratives.” Interconnected to this is the mythologies of vocational awe which reinforces “themes of sacrifice and struggle,” while librarianship sustained itself through labor of librarians who reap only the “immaterial benefits” of having done supposedly “good work.”

This interconnects to fictional librarians. In this article I’ll focus on librarians who presumably get a wage, rather than student librarians which I wrote about earlier this month, or salary. [1] These librarians include Kaisa in Hilda, Isomura in Let’s Make a Mug Too, Lydia Lovely in Horrid Henry, and Ms. Herrera in Archie’s Weird Mysteries. There’s also unnamed librarians in We Bare Bears, Gabriel DropOut, Akebi’s Sailor Uniform, and Cardcaptor Sakura, to name a few who work in public or school libraries. All of those and more will be reviewed in this article.

Kaisa is a supporting character in Hilda and she works at the Trolberg Library. Although she is never shown getting a paycheck, there is no doubt that she is receiving some wages or salary. However, it is implied that she may be overworked and may be experiencing burnout. She often has to deal with annoying patrons, like Hilda herself. Even so, she is still helpful to patrons like Hilda and her friends. She is even a person who would stand up to her bosses, as she would have done in standing against them in a scene which never made it in Hilda and the Mountain King. Otherwise, she seems relatively content with her job, at least as her scenes in the show indicate, although the times we see her is relatively limited, so its hard to know for sure.

Since the show is set in an alternate version of Scandinavia, we can say she would earn an average salary of approximately 9,936 Euros or about $17,843 U.S. Dollars. [2] However, if we chose largest amount, she would earn about $42,274 U.S. Dollars a year, and around $3,386 U.S. Dollars a year at the minimum. Compared to those classified as Librarians and Library Media Specialists by the BLS, the average salary of $61,190 U.S. Dollars a year. Her salary is closer to those classified as Librarian Technicians and Assistants by the BLS which earn an average salary of $34,050 U.S. Dollars a year. Hopefully Trolberg has enough money to pay her, so I’m going to hope that she earns the equivalent of $37,000 a year, which means she would earn about $17.78 dollars an hour, assuming a 2,080 hour work year. That may be far too optimistic, but I’m really hoping here.

That brings me to Isomura in Let’s Make a Mug Too. She is a librarian and curator of local ceramics museum in the town of Tajimi. Since she has both jobs, she doesn’t devote all of her time to the library. However, she is from the city hall and is apparently a new hire. Now, librarians in Japan have an average salary of $5,882,809 Japanese Yen, the equivalent of $44,355 U.S. Dollars or $295,721.24 Chinese Yuan Renminbi. As for curators, they earn a bit more, $6,717,387 Japanese Yen. [3] That is equivalent of $337,578.57 Chinese Yuan Renminbi or $50,647 U.S. Dollars. If we average the two together, assuming she has a librarian-curator position, she would be earning an equivalent of $47,501 U.S. Dollars a year. If we use the same amount of hours per year I mentioned earlier, then she would earn about $23 dollars an hour! That’s pretty good for an amount of money to earn in a year.

The curator talking to the show's protagonist about pottery in Let's Make a Mug Here
The curator talking to the show’s protagonist about pottery

More broadly, the library that Isomura works in is one of the thousands of libraries in Japan. Some of those are listed on the “List of libraries in Japan” page. A small number of these libraries are “beautifully designed” and I’d guess that some of them are like temples, as some are said to be designed by so-called “master architects.” Libraries in Japan have evolved from being a study room and place for limited use to a place with attitudes about guarding the “people’s right to know” and ensuring equal and free access to information for everyone. Furthermore, librarians in Japan said to be “very passionate” about including “all areas of thought” in their daily discourse and collections, since library collections in World War II were heavily censored. [4]

There are many librarians in Japan who work at public libraries. Take, or example, the unnamed librarians Cardcaptor Sakura. The latter show has librarians shelving books and searching for items on their computers, helping the protagonists. They seem respected by those in the library itself. Unfortunately, looking at the listing on IMDB, it does not appear that the four, or even more, librarians in the episode are uncredited, unless they are listed as a character. The same can be said about the two unnamed librarians who appear briefly in the first episode Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, “My Senpai is a Bunny Girl”. Both work at Fujisawa Library, a public library.

Similarly, consider the librarian in Gabriel DropOut. She has a more direct role. In the episode “Fun Forever After…”, an unnamed female librarian helps Tapris, who stumbles at first when getting into the library and struggles to get on the internet. She doesn’t even know what a mouse is, and even touches the screen when its not a touch screen. The librarian helps her, guiding her to books on computers and programming, leading Tapris to read books about them. Again, unfortunately, the librarian is not credited.

This differs from the unnamed librarian in Akebi’s Sailor Uniform. She works at an all-girls private school, Roubai Girls’ Academy. In one episode, “There’s No School Tomorrow, Right?”, she shushes protagonists Akebi and Erika after they excitedly talk to one another. After the librarian shushes them so they express themselves non-verbally and remain excited to hang out that upcoming Saturday, the following day, together. Like other school librarians, she likely takes training courses and work to make sure the services of the school library meets the needs of the school. [5]

This contrasts with Lydia Lovely in Horrid Henry, a children’s animated series set in the United Kingdom. She works as a school librarian during the series but is generally disrespected by the show’s protagonist. Putting aside that a White woman voices her, even though she is a Black woman, as I’ve talked about how this is problematic in the past, lets consider an average salary. In the UK a librarian earns about £23,019 British Pounds a year, and £10.14 British Pounds an hour. [6] That’s the equivalent of about $28,788 U.S. Dollars a year, or about $13 USD an hour. That is relatively low compared to what I’ve mentioned before. I’ll get to librarians in the U.S. later.

Henry's teachers, with Lovely on the right
Henry’s teachers, with Lovely on the right

The diversity of UK librarians is even worse than in the U.S.: 97% of librarians identify as White! Compare that to the U.S. where 87% identify as White according to recent information. As such, Lydia Lovely is in the minority in terms of Black librarians in the UK. I don’t know whether there are Black librarian groups there like there are in the U.S., but I sure hope so, because they really need more diversity in their ranks of librarians, without a doubt.

They aren’t the only librarians in the UK which I’ve found in my watching of animated series. There’s the unnamed librarian in Sarah and Duck, a non-human librarian. Appearing in the episode “Lost Librarian” and voiced by Tom Britton, this librarian works at what appears to be working at the public library. Sarah and Duck who had gone to the library to learn about a periscope, help him after he loses his paper catalog . He eventually gets back the paper catalog, even as he shushes the duck at a later point. The one thing that is strange is that he has a paper catalog and there is no back-up. Strange and supports the idea of stereotypes of librarians and libraries as antiquated.

This profoundly contrasts with the librarian in Totally Spies who may be voiced by Janice Kawaye, a voice actor of Japanese descent, as I’ve written before, most recently in March 2022. She works at the Liverpool Library, based off the Liverpool Central Library as I noted in my post on April 18. It is the largest of the libraries in Liverpool. If she continued to work there, even as a buff librarian, with some spinster qualities, she would be in a building with “Wi-Fi access throughout the building with 150 computers” according to the library’s official website. The library also has 15,000 rare books,  a local studies collection which provides the “rich and fascinating history of Liverpool“. Furthermore, in connection to what the librarian does in the episode, they charge for late returned items. This is something being phased out in many libraries, although Liverpool Central Library isn’t one of them.

That brings me to Gabrielle in I Lost My Body. In the mature animated film, set in France, this librarian, voiced by Victoire Du Bois, she is a young woman who becomes friends with the protagonist after he, a pizza delivery person, delivers a pizza to her. She asks if he is ok, says he should change jobs, and they talk through the intercom while there is a hard rain outside the apartment building. She tells him she works in a library. It is later revealed, she delivers medicine to a man named Gigi. That she works at the Guy de Maussurant Library, possible referring to Guy De Maupassant, who is a great French writer of short stories. As a librarian there, checks out books for him there, helps him, tells him to bring them back in four weeks. Through it all she has an annoying unnamed library supervisor, while acting thoughtful, elusive, and hip from time to time. She rides a motorcycle, like Rin Shima in Laid-Back Camp, and is unique in that way.

Currently, the average salary of librarians in France is €47,292 Euros. That is the equivalent of about $50,534 USD per year, or $24.2 per hour, assuming the same 2,080 hour work year I mentioned earlier. It is worth noting that there are over 16,000 “public reading spaces” in France, but only 17% of the population are registered library users, due to limited hours open, remoteness, and continued stereotypes. At the same time, libraries of American Committee for Devastated France, otherwise known as CARD, containing librarians from the U.S., served as the foundation of modern libraries in France. There are also various professional organizations for librarians in the country. [7]

For Gabrielle, her job is probably pretty secure, even recommending The World According to Garp when he brings back another book. She probably doesn’t he has a second job seems to imply that her librarian job may not be paying her enough to stay afloat. However, if a second job is emblematic of the librarian field in France, one might say it means there is precarity at play. As put it in American Libraries, “precarity within and outside of libraries is tied to larger structural forces.” If this is the case for Gabrielle, it could mean, on the one hand, that her job is not as secure and a symptom of larger trends. After all, it seems to be the case in France, at least to some extent, especially for those in the gig economy. [8]

Bookworm supports oppression against Rocky and Bullwinkle

That brings me to Cletus Bookworm in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends. He is a librarian in the small town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota. Considering he is in the U.S., and in small town, what Jessi Baker, a small-town librarian said, is relevant here, that such librarians “often follow a different set of professional norms” since what may be considered “professional behavior in a larger area could be considered impersonal behavior by a small-town patron.” There is even an Association for Small and Rural Libraries. Other librarians also pedal around books and deliver them across the town. [9]

In the case of Bookworm, he appears to be respected enough to stay in his position even though he is complicit in kidnapping of his own patrons. Although this matters little to him, as all he wants in the library, similar to the general librarian stereotype of shushing librarians. is order in the library by any means necessary. He is very different from other librarians, like Archie the Archivist in Regular Show, which is set in an indeterminate location, who helps the protagonists, and is also the guardian of special laser discs, for some reason.

That brings me to the many librarians in the U.S. As I noted earlier, Librarians and Library Media Specialists earn an average of $61,190 U.S. Dollars a year and Librarian Technicians and Assistants earn an average salary of $34,050 U.S. Dollars a year. Most of the animated librarians in Western animation work in public libraries. Consider the unnamed librarian in We Bare Bears who is seemingly of Thai descent, who works at a branch of the the Los Angeles Public Library. She is shown as burned out and overworked, similar to Kaisa in Hilda.

She is not unique in this. Arguably Stewart Goodson and Myra in The Public may be be burned out to an extent. This differs from Mr. Anderson, the library manager. They all work at the Cincinnati Public Library. Also working in the Midwest is Bobby Daniels in The Ghost and Molly McGee and Clara Francis Censordoll in Moral Orel. Daniels is unique. He is one of the only Latine librarians apart from Mateo in Elena of Avalor and Eztli in Victor and Valentino that I know of in animation. Mateo is voiced by a gay man named Joseph “Joey” Haro, who is of Cuban descent, while Eztli is seemingly voiced by Jenny Lorenzo, who is also of Cuban descent. Daniels is voiced by Danny Trejo, he is presumably of Mexican descent since Trejo is of Mexican descent. There is a rich history of Mexican-American librarians, otherwise known as Chicano librarians, which tries to change the culture of the libraries they worked in to better suit their communities rather than White culture despite institutional resistance.

Censordoll is fundamentally different. In fact, her whole character stands against all the ethics and codes which librarians attest to. She dips books in kerosene so they can be burned and throws away books said to be “objectionable.” She is the equivalent of what the librarian-soldiers were fighting against in Library War and the present-day equivalent of book-banning/censorship efforts in the U.S., which seem to get worse every day. Such efforts are arguably a manifestation of fascism, although people don’t always use that word for them.

Other librarians appear in the Mid-Atlantic. This includes Harold in Craig of the Creek, who works at a librarian in the fictional town of Herkleton, Maryland in the Baltimore/D.C. metropolitan area. Additionally, the unnamed librarian in an episode of Steven Universe, “Buddy’s Book”, is located somewhere in Delmarva, along the Atlantic coast, in what can be called the Eastern Shore. Harold is voiced by Matt Burnett while the voice of the librarian in the Steven Universe episode is not currently known. The latter librarian may be more exhausted and tired than the former, although it is hard to know for sure because she is only shown very briefly in the episode itself.

three librarians in fiction
from left to right: Sherman “Swampy” in Phineas and Ferb, unnamed librarian in Rugrats and Mr. Ambrose in Bob’s Burgers

Apart from these is Sherman “Swampy” in Phineas & Ferb, possibly in the mid-Atlantic region, or other unnamed librarians in the series. This contrasts from Rugrats. Considering the series is seemingly set in Southern California, it means the unnamed librarian in that series is in the same area. This differs from Bob’s Burgers which is set somewhere in the Northeastern United States. Mr. Ambrose works in a school library there, specifically at Wagstaff School. He is said to be “flamboyant” on his fandom page, implying that he could be gay.

Similarly, Archie’s Weird Mysteries is set in New York, in the fictional town of Riverdale. The series includes Ms. Herrera, who may be Latine, and a librarian ghost named Violet Stanhope. In some scenes, she is shown as not a ghost. She remains in the town as she has unfinished business in the human world and can’t leave until it is completed. For all the hassle that Herrera goes through, I sure hop she is compensated well. That’s my hope, although I’m not sure if it is fulfilled or not

Then there is the unnamed librarian in Kim Possible who would fall within the “high school librarian” and “school librarian” category listed by the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. She is voiced by April Winchell. The series takes place in a possibly Midwestern town named Middleton, but still located in the U.S. Considering the fact that she is a menace in the school, she may have strong-armed the administration to pay her adequately. Alternatively, she might be underpaid and is lashing out at students because her pay is low. Its hard to know. I wish someone would write a fan fiction about her, one day.

That’s all for this post. Until next time!

© 2023 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] It is possible that Iku Kasahara and Asako Shibasaki in Library War are paid, although I can’t confirm that.

[2] “Librarian Average Salary in Norway 2022.” Salaryexplorer. Accessed June 6, 2022, says average salary is 396,000 NOK (39,250.194 Euros); “Librarian [Sweden].” SalaryExpert. Accessed June 6, 2022, says average salary is 414,891 kr (39,575.039 Euros); “Librarian Average Salary in Iceland 2022.” Salaryexplorer. Accessed June 6, 2022, says average salary of 467,000 ISK (3,376.6099 Euros); “Librarian Average Salary in Finland 2022.” Salaryexplorer. Accessed June 6, 2022, says average salary of 3,170 EUR; “Librarian Average Salary in Denmark 2022.” Salaryexplorer. Accessed June 6, 2022, says average salary of 28,600 DKK (3,844.6069 Euros); “What is the average salary of a librarian in Finland? Which source do I search for more information ? There is a librarian average salary history?” Ask a Librarian, Jun. 22, 2015. Used XE’s Currency Converter on June 6, 2022, inputting these average salaries then divided by five.

[3] “Librarian Salary in Japan.” Accessed June 6, 2022; “Museum Curator” [Japan]. SalaryExpert. Accessed June 6, 2022. Used XE Currency Converter on June 6, 2022.

[4] “Beautiful Libraries in Japan“. JapanTravel. Accessed June 6, 2022; “8 Beautiful Modern Libraries Designed by Master Architects in Japan.” Tsunagu Japan. Accessed June 6, 2022; Kawasaki, Yositaka, Genjiro Yamaguchi, and Ryoko Takashima. “The Development of Public Libraries in Japan After World War II.” 62nd IFLA General Conference – Conference Proceedings – August 25-31, 1996; Drake, Olivia. “Librarian Speaks on Intellectual Freedom in Japan.” The Wesleyan Connection. Oct. 5, 2006.

[5] Iwaski, Rei, Mutsumi Ohira, and Junko Nishio. “Pathways for School Library Education and Training in Japan.” IFLA, May 2019.  The library also appears in “Have You Decided on a Club?”, when the head of the literature club is talking to her friends in the library, and seems to read her books there to students as part of the club.

[6] “Average Librarian Salary in United Kingdom.” Payscale. Accessed June 7, 2022. Used XE Currency Converter on June 7, 2022.

[7] “Librarian Salary in France.” Accessed June 7, 2022; “France.” Libraries Without Borders. Accessed June 7, 2022; Dormant, Marcelline. “The French Connection.” American Libraries, Feb. 16, 2017; “Library Associations: France.” Internet Library for Librarians. Accessed June 7, 2022. The Economic Research Institute says something slightly different. Used XE Currency Converter on June 7, 2022.

[8] Lee, Yoonhee. “Bumpy Inroads.” American Libraries, May 1, 2020; Jensen, Kelly. “Librarians Under Pandemic Duress: Layoffs, Napkin Masks, and Fear of Retaliation.” Book Riot, Apr. 24, 2020; Babb, Mauren. “A Reflection on Precarity.” Partnership, Feb. 3, 2022; “Librarians fight rise of precarious work.” CBC, Mar. 27, 2016; Apouey, Bénédicte, Alexandra Roulet, Isabelle Solal, and Mark Stabile. (2020) “Gig Workers during the COVID-19 Crisis in France: Financial Precarity and Mental Well-Being.” J Urban Health 97, no. 6: 776-795; Thorkelson, Eli. (2016) “Precarity Outside: The political unconscious of French academic labor.” American Ethnologist 43, no. 3: 476.

[9] Arata, Hannah. “Hometown Librarian: Q&A with a Problem-Solving Small-Town Librarian.” Programming Librarian, May 19, 2021; Arata, Hannah. “Library on Wheels: Q&A With a Book Biking Librarian.” Programming Librarian, Aug. 23, 2021.

action animation crime fiction Fiction genres horror Librarians Libraries mystery Pop culture mediums public libraries speculative fiction White people

Revisiting the librarians of “Archie’s Weird Mysteries”

In the past, I’ve argued that the two librarians in “The Haunting of Riverdale” episode of Archie’s Weird Mysteries, Violet Stanhope and Ms. Herrera respectfully, are positive fictional portrayals of libraries, even though neither is shown outside the library. This means that neither fulfills the Librarian Portrayal Test, failing the second tenet. [1] I’ve also said that Violet, a librarian ghost also known as Quiet Violet, stands against existing shushing librarian stereotypes and further noted that she, and possibly Ms. Herrera, dresses conservatively, having style in a way that could be seen as more “traditional.” In rewatching the episode, I came to the similar conclusions as to the ones I outlined back in April 2021 and new ones which I want to share in this post. Similar as I did with my post about the buff librarian in Totally Spies!, I am trying to rewatch episodes that I’ve covered on this blog in the past in hopes of getting a new perspective on the librarians or libraries. Warning that this post will have spoilers for that episode.

First, a summary. The episode begins a typical mystery/horror fashion, asking if Archie can stop the ghostly menace or not. As the episode goes on, we hear Archie complaining to his friend that his columns aren’t interesting and say that if something weird doesn’t happen soon, his next column will be even more boring than his last one. His wish of sorts comes true when those in the town are spooked by a ghost, with his friend Reggie even getting white hair from it, similar to how Doctor Zoidberg grows hair when he is terrified, declaring that “Quiet Violet” has come back for revenge all the years that they made fun of her behind her back. Archie isn’t sure why his friend and various others in Riverdale are experiencing the same issues, but suspiciously his friend Jughead runs away when he asks him to look up something in the Riverdale History Archives in the library. That leaves him to figure out the mystery and go inside the local library. This library looks a bit grand and formidable with its classic architecture, including two Grecian Doric columns in front. [2] While there, he talks to the head librarian, Ms. Herrera. He asks her if his usual research table is available and tells her he has another weird mystery to solve. He hopes that he can read more and figure out who is haunting the town.

None of the huge stacks of books help, so he leaves, disappointed, declaring that the answer to the mystery “isn’t here at the library.” This is clearly shown to be incorrect, as books magically re-shelve themselves when he isn’t looking! Eventually, he puts the pieces together and realizes that the library has something to do with the haunting of the citizens, learning that two of them clutched an overdue library notice and muttered “Quiet Violet.” When he returns to the library, Ms. Herrera pulls him aside, not wanting to alarm the library patrons, saying that a lot of “unusual occurrences” have been happening since she took over as head librarian, like a strange presence behind her, books shelving themselves, and sudden changes in temperature. She even states, perceptively, that something is trying to help the library but doesn’t realize how spooky they are being. Archie, after going through the stacks for hours, comes upon Quiet Violet, who is haunting the library. She chases and shushes him, telling him to be quiet, respect the library, and to behave himself, saying she hopes he learned his lesson. Not surprisingly, this scares away the other library patrons, who are noticeably terrified. It is then that he realizes that the ghost is none other than the former head librarian, Violet Stanhope.

We then get the library horror story from Jughead, saying that when he was six-years-old, Violet kept telling him what to do and where to go, even telling him to be quiet after he was laughing a lot. He vowed after that to never come back to the library every again. Archie’s friend Betty counters his story by saying that Violet helped her get her first library card. They later return to the library, with Ms. Herrera convinced that Violet didn’t mean to scare people away, because the library was her life. This is reinforced when they examine Violet’s memoir, showing that her unfinished business on Earth is her interaction with Jughead all those years ago. She then explains it all from her perspective, saying that she was trying to warn him to be careful, took a book from him because it was being repaired and pages were falling out, and shushed him because people were studying in the library and needed quiet. Clearly, he had misinterpreted the situation entirely. She added that she felt horrible after she saw Jughead’s face and “chased” after him because he wanted to give him a library card and to show him how enjoyable the library is. She then says that people, like books, should never be judged by their covers, that she never meant to frighten anyone, and agrees with Betty’s suggestion that she move on, as Ms. Herrera is in charge now, with the condition that Jughead get a library card and visit the library often. Before she leaves, she tells him to enjoy reading. The episode concludes with Jughead saying he will miss Violet, and Archie saying that everything is going back to normal, with people returning to the library, with Violet’s good influence on Riverdale remaining. All he while, Jughead has rediscovers the library after years of avoiding it, reading cookbooks, adventure stories, local history, and his favorite book, Violet’s autobiography.

Violet shushes Jughead for laughing too loud

Violet is more than a character who subverts the scary librarian trope which is manifested famously by the librarian ghost in Ghostbusters. She helpful, and sometimes stern, elderly woman with gray hair who wore a purple dress with puffy, long sleeves, including a purple skirt, and two purple shoes, along with a golden locket rested around her neck, according to her fandom page. Although she saw herself as sweet and kind, she sometimes had a scary demeanor, enforcing the rules of the library or trying to keep out library patrons, with her heart in the right place. She also took pride in the library’s organization, even becoming hostile at rule breakers as a ghost. Thanks to Jughead understanding her, and she understanding Jughead, she is now able to rest in peace and pass onto the afterlife, never again to haunt the land of the living.

The episode, which aired on November 6, 1999 on the PAX Network, written by Michael Patrick Dobkins, based on characters appearing in Archie comics, expertly smashes the scary librarian trope in one fell swoop, showing that librarians can have reasons for being stern and wanting quiet. Violet is by no means as terrifying as Sarah, Sara, and Desiree breaking into a house to seize a library book in Too Loud, the bun-wearing librarian in the Boyfriends webcomic, the socially conservative book-burning librarian in Moral Orel, Francis Clara Censordoll, or the harsh curmudgeon unnamed librarian in an episode of DC Super Hero Girls. [3] In fact, she is tame by those standards. She is as much of a full character as the one time librarian in Merlin’s Story.

While the person who voiced Violet is not known, if we use the IMDB listing, it has to be a number of different voice actresses. She could be voiced by Tina Dixon who hasn’t had many roles, or Sheila Rochas. But, that doesn’t matter, because however did voice her did a great job of conveying the character to those who are watching.

Then there’s Ms. Herrera. She is a character who may be of Latine descent, as noted on the fandom page about her, and is the head librarian of the Riverdale Library after Violet dies. She has slightly tanned skin, a slender physique, golden hoop earrings, and neck-length brown and curly hair. She also has red lipstick like Violet. But, her dress is different, like a short-sleeved green shirt, a white pencil skirt, and short green heels, while she usually has a moody expression on her face. As the fandom page notes, she comes off as stern and no-nonsense, taking the rules seriously, and is a skeptic of the supernatural until convinced otherwise. She is prideful as a librarian and knows Archie well as he often goes to the library so he can do research for his Weird Mystery column for the school newspaper.

Ms. Herrera behind the information desk, with Violets portrait looming behind her, a reminder of her influence on the library

In comparing her voice to that of Midge, a recurring side character, in another episode, it is possible that Herrera she is voiced by Julie Anderson. According to Anderson’s IMDB page, she has only voiced characters for their Archie’s Weird Mysteries, Liberty’s Kids: Est. 1776, The Archies in Jug Man. There is a possibility she is voiced by Susan “Susie” Baer Collins as well, who was also credited in the episode, as her voice may have some similarities, per this video. Like with Violet, her voice actress, however that is, really shines through. [4]

This all makes it possible that if we say that Herrera is presumably Latine, as the fandom page for her asserts, then she likely is not voiced by Latine person, unless Anderson, Collins, Dixon, or Rochas are Latine themselves. It is definitely a possibility, but considering that the episode came out in 1999, it is unlikely that a high priority was put on making sure Latine people voice Latine characters, Black people voice Black characters, and so on, as a way to make those forms of representation more genuine to the viewers.

I liked her character even more than Violet, as she never loses her cool and keeps her composure, even when everyone leaves the library because they think the library is haunted. I wish we could have seen her outside the library as well, but, alas, that did not happen, unfortunately. Her style is much more chic and appealing than the traditional style which is embodied by Violet and many other librarians.

In the end, this episode, which can either be watched on the YouTube link at the beginning of this post, on Tubi, Paramount+, Roku TV, Apple TV, or Pluto TV, definitely smashes a lot of stereotypes when it comes to librarians in fiction and I wish more animated (and live-action) series would do that in the future. And you don’t even need the TV Tropes page to prove that this is the case.

© 2023 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] That tenet is “The character is not only, or primarily, defined by their role as a librarian.” In contrast, the first tenet is: “The animated series, anime, comic, film, or other pop culture media, has a character that is clearly a librarian, whether they work in a public library, corporate library, have a personal library, or some other circumstance where they work in a library.” The third tenet is “the librarian has to integral to the plot to such an extent that their removal from the story of a said episode, or episodes, would significantly impact the plot. As such, the librarian cannot just be there for laughs, be a foil, shush patrons, or otherwise fall into existing stereotypes, but should matter in and of themselves.”

[2] As The Architect says “the traditional Greek Doric columns come without a base…Types of columns in roman architecture…include Doric Ionic and Corinthian…Roman columns were purely for decoration unlike Greek columns that were used to support their buildings and temples” and eHow states that “there are three main types of Roman columns used throughout much of ancient architecture…Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.” ThoughtCo outlines the types and styles of columns, posts, and pillars.

[3] Other examples of harsh librarians include Mr. Snellson in an episode of Mysticons, Ms. Hatchet in an episode of Kim Possible, Mrs. Shusher in The Replacements, Libro Shushman in Teamo Supremo, Rita Loud in Timon & Pumbaa, Bat Librarian in Rose of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mrs. L in Dexter’s Laboratory, to name a few.

[4] Neither is likely voiced by Michele Phillips who is only credited for voicing characters in this series, but noted by Behind the Voice Actors as voicing Ethel and Scarlet. The same site also notes that Julie Anderson voices Midge as well.

action adventure animation anime Comics drama fantasy Fiction genres horror Japanese people Librarians Libraries magic libraries magical girl Movies Pop culture mediums public libraries romance school libraries speculative fiction webcomics White people

Recently added titles (July 2022)

Willow and Amity fight in the library in the The Owl House episode “Labyrinth Runners”

Building upon the titles listed for July/August, September, OctoberNovember, and and December 2021, and January, February, March, April, May, and June of this year, this post notes recent titles with libraries or librarians in popular culture which I’ve come across in the past month. Each of these has been watched or read during the past month. Not as many animated series or anime with libraries this past month, but I did come across a good deal in comics, whether in graphic novels or webcomics, and hopefully there will be more that I find in the days, weeks, and months to come. That’s my hope at least.

Animated series recently added to this page

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, “Siege of the North, Part 2”
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, “The Library”
  • Craig of the Creek, “Secret Book Club”
  • Craig of the Creek, “Kelsey the Author”
  • Craig of the Creek, “The Haunted Dollhouse”
  • Craig of the Creek, “Ferret Quest”
  • Craig of the Creek, “The Last Game of the Summer”
  • Craig of the Creek, “Welcome to Creek Street”
  • Craig of the Creek, “Capture the Flag Part 4: The Plan”
  • Craig of the Creek, “The Legend of the Library”
  • Craig of the Creek, “Fire and Ice”
  • The Owl House, “Labyrinth Runners”

Anime series recently added to this page

  • A Couple of Cuckoos, “You Can’t Just Pretend It Didn’t Happen”
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero, “The Shield Hero”*

*Keep in mind that I do not recommend this series, and only watched two episodes before I stopped watching it. Read more about the controversy with this series here.

Comics recently added to this page

  • Greta the Red Wolf, “Foreboding”
  • Greta the Red Wolf, “A Series of Unexpected Events”
  • Sabine: an asexual coming of age story, “One Hundred Twenty Four”
  • Spellbound, “Ep116 – Weird”
  • Spellbound, “Ep117 – All good then!”
  • Spellbound, “Ep126 – Another game?”
  • Spellbound, “Ep127 – Sulky face”
  • Spellbound, “Ep128 – Not Happy!”
  • Spellbound, “Ep129 – Let’s make it ok”
  • Spellbound, “Ep2 – Organise – Season 2”
  • Tamberlane, “Issue 131”
  • The Siren’s Light, “Chapter 5 (4)”
  • Vixen: NYC, “Episode 4”
  • Winter Before Spring, “Episode 46”

Films recently added to this page

No films to add for this month.

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.

Thank you to all the people that regularly read my blog. As always, if you have any titles you’d like to suggest, let me know. Thanks!

animation anime Comics Fiction genres horror Movies mystery Pop culture mediums romance speculative fiction

Recently added titles (April 2022)

A librarian guides Tapris to books on computers and programming at the local library in episode 11 of Gabriel DropOut

Building upon the titles listed for July/August, September, OctoberNovember, and December 2021, and January, February, and March of this year, this post notes recent titles with libraries or librarians in popular culture which I’ve come across in the past month. Each of these has been watched or read during the past month. I came across a lot of anime series with libraries and librarians, although not as many in Western animated series, nor in comics or films. Hopefully there will be more that I find in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Animated series recently added to this page

  • Madagascar: A Little Wild, “Melman at the Movies”

Anime series recently added to this page

  • Aharen-San wa Hakarenai, “Isn’t That a Little Too Heavy?”
  • As Miss Beelzebub Likes, “A Bit Bitter, Bibliomania”
  • As Miss Beelzebub Likes, “Her Assistant Knows Not Her Highness’s Heart / The Name of That Feeling Is…”
  • As Miss Beelzebub Likes, “They Pass Each Other by Sometimes / I had a Dream”
  • Gabriel, DropOut, “Fun Forever After…”
  • Glitter Force aka Smile PreCure!, “An Exciting Beginning”
  • Kin-iro Mosaic a.k.a. Kinmoza, “Present For You”
  • Kin-iro Mosaic a.k.a. Kinmoza, “The Girl on My Mind”
  • Laid-Back Camp aka Yuru Camp, “What Are You Buying With Your Temp Job Money”
  • Laid-Back Camp aka Yuru Camp, “Caribou-kun and Lake Yamanaka”
  • Laid-Back Camp aka Yuru Camp, “Cape Ohmama in Winter
  • Laid-Back Camp aka Yuru Camp, “Winter’s End and the Day of Departure”
  • Laid-Back Camp aka Yuru Camp, “The Izu Camp Trip Begins!”
  • Love Live! Sunshine!!, “Our Own Shine”
  • Love Live! Sunshine!!, “The Time Left”
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, “My Senpai is a Bunny Girl”
  • The Demon Girl Next Door, “Nightmare or Forebear?! The Doorstop of Darkness Descends”

Comics recently added to this page

None this month.

Films recently added to this page

None this month.

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.

Thank you to all the people that regularly read my blog. As always, if you have any titles you’d like to suggest, let me know. Thanks!

action adventure animation fantasy Fiction genres horror Librarians Libraries Pop culture mediums public libraries romance speculative fiction White people

Fictional Librarian of the Month: Amity Blight in “The Owl House”

Luz and Amity shush each other in hopes of hiding from Amity’s boss…

Hello everyone! This continues from the “Fictional Librarian of the Month” entries for November, December, and January, with this series focusing on fictional librarian every month, prioritizing those in currently shows, but also covering older shows, using entries from the “List of fictional libraries” from time to time. This month, I’d like to highlight Amity Blight from The Owl House, who is a wizard and a lesbian in a relationship one of the other protagonists, Luz Noceda!

About the librarian

Amity is an important secondary character in The Owl House, a young witch who attended Hexside School. Originally she is a bit of an antagonist, but after bonding with Luz, she becomes a better person, even standing up to her parents, makes Willow her friend again, and improves her friendship with Luz, who becomes her girlfriend.

Role in the story

In terms of being a librarian, there is only one episode where she is directly shown as a librarian at the Bonesborough Library: “Through the Looking Glass Ruins“. Other than that, in the episode “Lost in Language” she is shown reading to younger children for storytime, but it is not known if she was a librarian at that time.

Does the librarian buck stereotypes?

She does! There are very few outwardly queer librarians in animated series I’ve seen as of yet, and she has been confirmed as a lesbian by the show’s creator, Dana Terrace. However, she is White and female, which is too common for librarians in media, unfortunately.

Any similarity with librarians in other shows?

Not really, as most librarians I’ve covered on this blog are older. I can’t think of any librarian, even in anime, that is like her. She is a unique person and librarian all on her own. There is no doubt about that.

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.