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From action to romance: Examining student librarians in anime

The Japanese Library Association (JLA) reports that almost all of the schools in Japan have libraries, with tens of thousands in elementary and junior high schools, and less in high, middle, and special schools. Specifically, there are many more libraries in elementary schools than in other schools, due to the number of schools. Even so, there is a School Library Law first enacted in 1953, which states that schools “should have libraries,” and a 1997 amendment which led teacher librarians to be sent to schools with more than 12 classes. However, they aren’t excepted from regular duties as teachers of specific subjects in classrooms. [1] In addition there is a library law which was first enacted in 1950, with amendments from 1952 to 1965. This focus is reflected in anime, which I’ll focus on in this post, bringing together many other scattered posts on this blog which have included student librarians.

All these characters work in school libraries, otherwise known as school library media centers, which are libraries within schools where students, staff, and parents of the school have access to resources, with a mission to allow all members of the school’s community to have equitable access to resources,while using different types of media, the internet, and books. They are distinct from public libraries because they extend, support, and individualize the curriculum of the school, and as the coordinating and central agency for school materials. They have been praised for positively supporting student assessment. [2] These libraries are meant to serve small and large groups,having a learning space for students, functioning as a central location of information available. It also allows students to safely access internet, and has collaborative ventures with staff, providing opportunities for students. At the same time, the budget is important, while school libraries are staffed either by librarians, teacher librarians, or others who have a library science degree. [3]

When it comes to librarians in anime, they are student librarians. Speaking broadly, not specifically about Japan, but about these librarians in general, they provide valuable input for library development and “raise the profile of the library among their peers”. They also ensure day-to-day operations of libraries, although they only work during lunch and break times, but has to perform their duties or they will be replaced or fired. In such schools where this is available, many students have the opportunity to become a librarian. However, in some higher education institutions, students can be paid. In other cases, they might be student library aides. [4]

One of the first librarian characters I came across was Hisami Hishishii in R.O.D. the TV. Voiced by Taeko Kawata in Japanese, and by Megan Taylor Harvey in English dub, Hisami is a student librarian. Her character also is, in keeping with how librarians are usually portrayed, quiet, shy, and lover of books. At the same time, she is a friend with the protagonist, Anita King, who she has a crush on. She further has the distinction of being a 13-year-old author as well. Such characters appear as they are in line with preferences of anime viewers who are mostly in high school themselves, meaning that many anime are set in high school, although that doesn’t always limit the storytelling. [5]

Some examples of student librarians in anime
Some examples of student librarians in anime. From left to right: Yamada, Azusa Aoi, Fumi Manjōme, Fumio Murakumi, and Himeko Agari

This contrasts with Yamada in B Gata H Kei. Voiced by Yukari Tamura in Japanese, and Brittney Karbowski in English dub, she goes to a high school in Japan. Using data summarized by the JLA, elementary schools have four times more libraries than high schools, because there are many more elementary schools than junior high schools, middle schools, or special schools. Similarly, Azusa Aoi in Whispered Words, who is voiced by Mayuki Makiguchi, and Fumi Manjōme in Aoi Hana / Sweet Blue Flowers, who is voiced by Ai Takabe, are both student librarians in their respective anime. Additionally, there’s Fumio Murakumi in Girl Friend Beta, voiced by Kaori Nazuka, who goes to a high school, and Himeko Agari in Komi Can’t Communicate, voiced by Yukiyo Fujii. If I remember right, Hasegawa Sumika in Bernard-jou Iwaku a.k.a. Miss Bernard said, voiced by Aya Suzaki, is at an elementary school or some school lower than a high school.

Beyond this is Rin Shima in Laid Back-Camp, voiced by Nao Tōyama, Nagisa Yasaka in My Roommate is a Cat (“What Connects Us”), who is voiced by Hisako Tōjō, and Sumireko Sanshokunin a.k.a. “Pansy” in Oresuki, voiced by Haruka Tomatsu. There’s also an unnamed and uncredited librarian in Kin-iro Mosaic aka Kinmoza (“The Girl on My Mind”). In fact, the only male student librarian with a name I know of at present is Yuu Izumi in Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie (“Cultural Festival I”). He is voiced by Shūichirō Umeda and he works alongside Kamiya, who is voiced by Ayaka Fukuhara.

There are two or three unnamed librarians in a Revolutionary Girl Utena episode (“The Sunlit Garden – Prelude”). From my current listing of fictional librarians, I’m not aware of any student librarians in Western animation as of yet, apart from the library clerk in The Simpsons episode (“Bart’s Girlfriend”), who is voiced by Hank Azaria. That’s it. Most are much older. Sabine in Sabine; an asexual coming of age story, is a student librarian, but she is in a webcomic and it is unlikely that will become an animation. However, if it does become an animation, she will be the first asexual librarian that I’m aware of in an animated series.

Some student librarians go to special schools. For instance, Chiyo Tsukudate in Strawberry Panic!, voiced by Chiwa Saitō, goes to an elite all-girls school. She goes to St. Miator’s Girls’ Academy, which is affiliated with two other all-girls schools, specifically St. Spica’s Girls’ Institute and St. Lulim’s Girls’ School. Comparably, in Manaria Friends, Anne and Grea go to the Mysteria Academy of Magic. Anne, who is voiced by Yōko Hikasa, and Grea, voiced by Ayaka Fukuhara, both help out in the library during the episode “Hide-and-Seek”. They also serve as library patrons in various other episodes.

There are various characters who are not student librarians, like Lilith in Yamibou, who is voiced by Sanae Kobayashi, an unnamed librarian in a Little Witch Academia episode (“Night Fall”), or characters in Library War like Iku Kasahara and Asako Shibasaki. Furthermore, Sophie Twilight in Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood is a personal librarian and does not go to school. This is just a small listing of those librarians who are not students and are not, as a result, student librarians. [6]

The same can be said for the librarian in the strange first-person series, Makura no Danshi, also known as Makuranodanshi. Although he is apparently a “librarian boy”, he is 28 years old. Named Shirusu Mochizuki and voiced by: Kōsuke Toriumi, he appears in the episode “Librarian Danishi”, talking to the audience while shelving books and waking up a sleeping patron. In a connection to my review of librarians who sleep at the information desk back in January, he declares that naps disturb the other patrons and to not sleep in the library.

He also remembers frequent patrons, sees what people are reading in the library and he says he enjoys selecting books for patrons to read. He later makes an exception for the audience saying to rest there until his shift is over and goes further and declares that the library can become a place of “emotional healing.” That connects, in some way to my next example, this time of a student librarian.

Izumi and Kamiya working in the library together
Izumi and Kamiya working in the library together

One of the more intriguing student librarians I have come across during my anime watching is a blue-haired girl Kamiya, also known as Kamiya-san, in Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie. She is friends with the purple-haired protagonist, Izumi. She is on the library committee and he helps her put away some books, which all have Japanese call numbers. Although she is described as having a “cool but kind exterior,” with male and female fans, along with the ace of the volleyball team, this, and Izumi’s description of her as calm, composed, and pretty, is somewhat thrown into question.

She may be socially awkward as despite her popularity she wants to get away from it all and find a place that is quiet, the library. That is, in fact, how they first met, a year and half before, when she showed him how to enter books and items into the library catalog. At the present, she first tells Izumi he is different because he has a girlfriend, Shikimori, then grills him about it. She becomes impressed with his story and is a bit of a romantic rival to her in more ways than one.

It is later revealed to be a coincidence that both are paired for couples photos for the cultural festival and are on library duty together. In many ways, Kamiya is fulfilling the IFLA/UNESCO School Library Manifesto of 1999 which states that school libraries equip “students with life-long learning skills and develops the imagination, enabling them to live as responsible citizens”, as the skills he learns while working at the library will likely help him in the future.

Then, in the episode “Cultural Festival II”, Izumi and Kamiya are again in the library for library duty while the cultural festival is going on. They both talk about a recent movie they both watched. She has a vision or dream before that, at the beginning of the episode that she is losing Izumi to Shikimori, which makes her sad. While Izumi says he wasn’t expecting a conversation about lost love and expectations with Kamiya, he is glad they are talking about it. Kamiya even has the grace to trade e number with Shikimori so she can be with Izumi during the festival, something she didn’t have to do, but it says a lot about her as a character. As such, she is a librarian character, and so much more, who has a strong supporting role in this anime.

This is in stark contrast to other librarians in anime. Take for example the unnamed student librarians in an episode of Azumanga Daioh (“One Spring Night”). Seen helping patrons at the beginning of the episode while at the information desk, these two librarian aides, one of whom is a woman and the other a man, tell the protagonists, who are studying there, that they are leaving for the day. They ask them to turn off the lights when they leave. While this would be unthinkable for some librarians to ask patrons to close up for them, it is in-keeping with the slice-of-life vibe of the series, which sometimes is a bit chill and at other times wades into surreal comedy. In any event, the protagonists end up turning off the light and leaving before it gets too dark, as they have no reason to stay there and have to get back home.

Joro sitting next to Pansy
Joro sitting next to Pansy at a table in the school library

Diametrically opposed to the previous examples is Sumireko Sanshokunin a.k.a. “Pansy” in Oresuki. Voiced by Haruka Tomatsu, she wears glasses, braids, and has a “sharp tongue,” to say the least. In the first episode, she is described as a quiet and plain library aide by the show’s protagonist, Amatsuyu “Joro” Kisaragi, at first. This is thrown into question when it turns out she has been stalking and watching him, while she holds the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The novel is said to be a book defining in the gothic horror genre, while the phrase “Jekyll and Hyde”refers to those who appear outwardly good but are actually shockingly evil. In this episode, she has some of that nature in that she ships a bench Joro had been sitting on to the library and pressures (and manipulates) him to coming to the library every day during lunch after confessing her love to him. He agrees on the proviso that the library is a “secluded” space.

Her actions on the face, violate the Code of Ethics for Librarians outlined by the JLA. In fact, Joro calls her a “demonic stalker” in the next episode. However, she remains aware of everything going on, an helps him out, and is later called, in the episode “I Met You Before” as a “formidable woman”. As rumors swirl across the school about Joro, she uses her role as a student librarian to encourage Oga, a star athlete at the school, to reveal he set up Joro, by convincing two other students, Himawari and Cosmos, that he lied to them. It is then that she reveals to Joro that she is the girl he fell in love with at a baseball game and is only taking on the appearance of a quiet, reserved librarian to hide her true nature from everyone else, especially from a supposed “demon” who is after her.

As the show goes on, the library becomes a place that Joro, and his newfound friends, Cosmos, Himawari, and Oga, study, while Pansy gains new friends of her own. It even becomes a place to whether the crises he weathers, like a libelous article claiming he has three girlfriends written by a jealous reporter, Asunaro. In the meantime, she becomes more comfortable with herself, and a new student even meets everyone in the library.

The “demon” of Pansy is revealed when there is a concerted effort to save the library, in the latter part of the show’s second season, a boy from her previous school, Hose. The school administration declares that there needs to more traffic from people using the library, i.e. more patrons, to prevent it from being closed. This is successful, and the library becomes a social hub for students, but its role as a secluded place is lost. Even so, more students means she can more effectively serve library patrons and beats an attempt to impede library activities, standing against the JLA’s statement on intellectual freedom in libraries which was last revised in 1979.

It turns out that Hose once had a crush on her in middle school, and he will stop at nothing to make her his, with two girls almost serving as his lackeys. This means she changed her appearance in order to avoid a possessive man who still loved her. Ultimately, Hose loses a bet with Joro, and Pansy says they can keep meeting in the school library, saying she still loves Joro, despite the fact she calls him “industrial waste” after he asked Pansy, Cosmos, and Himawari to be his girlfriends. The latter is seemingly a plea to get Pansy to have more friends, showing he cares about others beyond himself, at least in this case, even though he is generally a despicable character.

Library in Seitokai Yakuindomo
As of the writing of this post, I have not yet watched Seitokai Yakuindomo, the screenshot of which is shown above, but according to the fandom page, in this series the library is a “popular place during exam season” and many characters hang out there.

What Pansy experienced is not at all surprising considering there are reports of people sexually molesting girls in Japanese libraries, which are known as toshoshitsu in Japanese, ongoing sex-child prostitution involving high school girls, and sexual assault of schoolgirls on public transit. On a non-terrifying and disturbing note, there’s also a dedication to the privacy of library users, in line with the JLA’s statement I mentioned earlier, saying that it isn’t right if “people cannot use a library free from anxiety.”

Topics in libraries in Japan are organized by subject and letter, along with reference and foreign language books. What’s in the library would differ depending on whether the library is in a preschool, elementary, junior high, or high school. Furthermore the fact that attendance is almost universal with no absences, the education is intense, rules for uniforms are strict, students clean the bathrooms, classrooms, and cafeterias of their schools, and balanced meals provided in schools undoubtedly influence library environments in schools. [7]

There are other libraries in Japan too, beyond those in schools. This includes the National Diet Library, which made an appearance in R.O.D. the TV, the National Film Center Library, Automobile Library, Asia Library, Japan Aeronautic Association Aviation Library, an anime library, a manga library, and the related Diplomatic Archives and National Archives of Japan, to name a few. There’s also, apart from the ALA, the Japan Association of National University Libraries, Japan Special Libraries Association, and Japan Society of Library and Information Science. There’s even overnight libraries which are styled after remolded traditional homes which can be used by students as a place to study after school or relax. At one time they were even lending libraries at hospitals, library festivals in some places in Japan, and books just devoted to autobiographies. [8]

More broadly, there are libraries in “nearly every town and neighborhood in Japan,” meaning that is common to see people during their commutes or outside reading books and other materials. These libraries are “cultural facilities for the dissemination of knowledge” in Japan, sometimes having unique designs, water fountains, and library committees (at least in schools) where students are assigned library duties. Due to this role, it is no surprise that many libraries in the country prohibit photography. [9]

All of these libraries in Japan is not much of a surprise. After all, in Japan, having “harmonious relations with others” with reciprocity and fulling social obligations is more important than a relationship someone has to a so-called “higher power”. As such, order, harmony, and self-development underlie much of Japanese social interaction, which is why substitutes are rarely used, lunches are eaten in classrooms, and summer break is only 5 weeks long. Some schools even have classes on Saturday and there are various student clubs. Most also walk or bike to school if the distance isn’t that long. [10]

The fact that many Japanese librarians in anime are schoolgirls is in line with the audience of such animated series and likely current dynamics in school itself. Japan is a patriarchal society where men are portrayed  to be the leaders and not in “feminized” professions like librarianship, with more men in the workforce, for all professions, than women. This is happening while Japan’s society is greying with an estimated 40% of the population to be elderly by 2060. [11] In the end, there will continue to be Japanese librarians in school environments going forward, a trend which isn’t going to end anytime soon.

© 2023 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] Teachers who are part of the JLA are part of its School Library Division. There are also divisions for public libraries, university libraries, junior college libraries, special libraries, and education. There are also committees and working groups which focus on, according to the JLA, “library policies, library management, copyright, intellectual freedom, bibliography, preservation and conservation, services for the handicapped, publications, library services for children and young adults, international relations, etc.” A June 2020 article in Nippon also stated that the number of libraries in Japan is increasing.

[2] “Standards for the 21st Century Learner,” American Association of School Librarians (AASL), 2007; “Frequently Asked Questions.” American Library Association, May 12, 2008; “School Library Campaign.” American Library Association,” November 23, 2008;  Morris, Betty J. Administering the school library media center (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited), 2013, p.32; “Student Learning through Ohio School Libraries : The Ohio Research Study.” Ohio Educational Library Media Association, Feb. 21, 2004; Lonsdale, Michele. Impact of School Libaries in Student Achievement.” Australian School Library Association, 2003. Also see AASL position statements.

[3] Morris 2004; De las Casas, Dianne. (2010). “Tag! you’re it!”: playing on the digital playground. Knowledge Quest, 39(1), 80-82; “School Library Handbook.” The Wyoming State Library, Jun. 6, 2021; Thomas, Margie J. and Patsy H. Perritt. “A Higher Standard: Many states have recently revised their certification requirements for school librarians.” School Library Journal, Dec. 1, 2003; “School Libraries & Education.” American Library Association, accessed June 4, 2022; “Strong School Libraries Build Strong Students.” AASL, 2013. Also see some sources listed on the School library Wikipedia page.

[4] “Student librarians.” National Library of New Zealand. Accessed June 5, 2022; “School student librarians.” St. Augustine’s CE High School. Accessed June 5, 2022; “2019-2020 Student Librarians.” Ilako Library. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Student Librarians.” Co-Op Academy Walkden. Accessed June 5, 2022; Slater, Lewis. “The Student Librarians.” Unity College, Jun. 1, 2019; “Student Librarians.” Tarlton Law Library. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Student Librarians Update Library.” Cambian University, Apr. 3, 2022; “Librarians for First-Year Students.” Harvard Library. Accessed June 5, 2022; Pollock, Natasha. “Student Librarians: Contributors in Our Learning Community.” Books Are Just the Beginning, Feb. 14, 2017; “Student Librarians.” Kettering Science Academy. Accessed June 5, 2022; Onwubiko, Emmanuel Chidiadi. “An Assessment of the Effect of Self-efficacy, Reading Culture, Utilization of Library Habits on the Academic Achievements of Student-librarians.” Library Philosophy and Practice, May 2022; “History.” Board Of Student Librarians. Methodist’ Boys School Kuala Lumpur, Aug. 23, 2010; Heraper, Sue. “Managing a Successful Student Library Aide Program.” Student Library Aide. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Student Library Aide.” Mississippi Department of Education. Accessed June 5, 2022.

[5] Kemner, Louis. “25 Best High School Anime, Ranked.” CBR, May 15, 2022.

[6] Others include Aruto, Iina, Kokoro in Kokoro Toshokan a.k.a. Kokoro Library, Hamyuts Meseta, Mirepoc Finedel, Noloty Malche, Ireia Kitty, Mattalast Ballory, Volken Macmani, Ruruta Coozancoona, Mokkania Fluru, Fhotona Badgammon, and Makia Dekishart in Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra, Isomura in Let’s Make a Mug Too episode (“The Garden of Sky and Wind”), unnamed librarian in Akebi’s Sailor Uniform episode (“There’s No School Tomorrow, Right?”), unnamed/uncredited librarian in Gabriel DropOut (“Fun Forever After…”), four unnamed/uncredited librarians in Cardcaptor Sakura episode (“Sakura and the Summer Holiday Homework”), and two librarians in Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (“My Senpai is a Bunny Girl”), Atsushi Dojo, Mikihisa Komaki, Hikaru Tezuka, Ryusuke Genda, and Kazuichi Inamine in Library War, and Riichi Miura in The Ancient Magus Bride: Those Awaiting a Star.

[7] “Man arrested for sexually molesting junior high school girl in library.”  JapanToday, Oct. 19, 2021; “Japanese Vocabulary – School Rooms.” PuniPuni, accessed June 4, 2022; “Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries.” Japan Library Association, 1979; “Japanese School System.” Education in Japan, accessed June 4, 2022; “Explore Japan: Schools.” KidsWebJapan. JapanLinks, accessed June 4, 2022; Dom Alex, “Japanese High School Library Tour,” YouTube, Feb. 6, 2016; xxDotheMonkeyDancexx. “RYE Japan #30 – school library.” YouTube, May 16, 2013; Schaub, Michael. “Haruki Murakami’s library list is published, and Japanese librarians are up in arms.” LA Times, Dec. 5, 2015; Fifield, Anna. “For vulnerable high school girls in Japan, a culture of “dates” with older men.” The Denver Post, May 16, 2017, reprinted from The Washington Post; Ripley, Will. “Fascination with Japanese schoolgirl culture hiding a darker side?CNN, Dec. 27, 2015; Ekin, Annette. “Sexual assault in Japan: ‘Every girl was a victim’.” Al-Jazeera, Mar. 8, 2017. Also see the Wikipedia page “Education in Japan” for more information.

[8] “Libraries & Archives: National & Administrative Libraries.” JapanLinks. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Libraries & Archives: Library Associations.” JapanLinks. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Libraries & Archives: Libraries in Specific Fields.” JapanLinks. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; “What’s Cool: Sleeping Surrounded by Books – Bookstores and Libraries that Double as Accommodation.” KidsWebJapan. JapanLinks. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Reading for All: “Barrier-Free” Picture Books for Children.” Trends in Japan, Dec. 9, 2002; “Library Festival.” KidsWebJapan. JapanLinks. Accessed June 5, 2022; “This is My Life: Young and Old Producing Autobiographies.” Trends in Japan, Sept. 22, 2000; “What’s Cool: Suginami Animation Museum.” KidsWebJapan. JapanLinks. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Apr. 2005; “Exploring the History of Manga.” Trends in Japan, Jan. 22, 2007. The National Diet Library is said to have more books (and presumably materials) than any other library in Japan.

[9] “Japan in Photos – Japan Celebrates Reading Week.” Japan Up Close. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Dec. 1, 2021; “Seaside Momochi: Waterfront Development for a Multimedia Society.” JapanAtlas. WebJapan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Japan’s Blue Created With Indigo Dye.” Trends in Japan, Jan. 2014; “In the Morning.” KidsWebJapan. WebJapan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Special Feature on Schools in Japan: Classroom Duties.” WebJapan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Jan. 2021; “Feeling Like a Protagonist on Location.” Trends in Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Japan, Land of Water.” niponica, no. 15, 2015.

[10] “Values and Beliefs” within Japan: A Country Study (Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1994, ed Ronald E. Dolan and Robert L. Worden), reprinted on; “Explore Japan: Schools.” KidsWebJapan. WebJapan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; Freeman, Ellen. “9 Ways Japanese Schools Are Different From American Schools.” Mental Floss, Dec. 18, 2015; “Japanese Educational System.” Japan Educational Travel.” Accessed June 5, 2022;  Johnson, Marcia L. and Jeffrey R. Johnson, “Daily Life in Japanese High Schools.” ERIC Digest, Oct. 1996. School cleaning by students is intended to make students responsible for their surroundings, although there are cleaning staff as well. Also see Nishioka, Kanae. “Historical overview of curriculum organization” in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in Japan: Beyond Lesson Study (ed. Koji Tanaka, Kanae Nishioka and Terumasa Ishii, New York: Routledge, 2017), pp. 11-27; Tokyo Five. “13 Ways Japanese Schools Are Different From American Ones.” Business Insider, Jul 17, 2014; “Top Performing Countries: Japan.” NCEE. Accessed June 5, 2022; Ooman, Emily Joy. “10 Facts About Education in Japan.” The Borgen Project, May 20, 2020; Mandrapa, Nebojsa. “Interesting Facts about Japanese School System.” Novak Djokovic Foundation, Mar. 11, 2015; Abe, Namiko. “The Japanese Education System.” ThoughtCo, Sept. 8, 2018; “Japanese high-school students.” Contents Library. Japan Foundation. Accessed June 5, 2022.

[11] “Labor force in Japan from 1973 to 2021 by gender.” Statista, Feb, 2022; “Labor force, female (% of total labor force) – Japan.” WorldBank, Feb. 8, 2022; “Labour force participation rate by sex and age (%) – Annual.” ILOSTAT Explorer, 2021; “Country Profiles.” ILOSTAT. International Labour Organization, select “Japan” from drop-down menu; “Labor force, total – Japan.” WorldBank, Feb. 8, 2022; “Japanese Workforce Statistics 2022: Digging Into the Labor Market of Japan.” TeamStage. Accessed June 5, 2022; “Demographic Change in Japan.” Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. Accessed June 5, 2022; “How Japan can take the lead with an ageing workforce.” World Economic Forum, May 8, 2019. Recent statistics from the Statistics Bureau of Japan (see table 1 on this page) show more women working in the education field than men. Furthermore, e-Stat shows 144,000 men and 201,000 women working in education learning support in Japan in 2021, 136,000 women and 99,000 men working in school education in 2021. The same chart shows that 22,000 men and 12,000 women work in video picture, sound information, character information production, and distribution in 2021, which I’m assuming is referring to anime production. There does not appear to be a category for libraries, unlike the BLS in the U.S. Also see the badly sourced and poorly maintained “Labor market of Japan” page on Wikipedia for further information.

action adventure animation anime comedy Comics fantasy Fiction genres Librarians Libraries Movies mystery Pop culture mediums public libraries romance school libraries speculative fiction webcomics

Recently added titles (February 2023)

A villain transforms into a stereotypical librarian and annoys a Black girl
The Beyonder shapeshifts into the librarian and surprises Lunella who is trying to divide her project into pieces, so Eduardo doesn’t mess it up. His appearance embodies the stereotypical depiction of librarians.

Building upon the titles listed for July/August, September, OctoberNovember, and December 2021, and January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December of 2022, and January 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, 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

  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, “The Beyonder”

Anime series recently added to this page

  • The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady aka Tensei Oujo to Tensai Reijou no Mahou Kakumei, “The Magic Lecture of the Founder and the Assistant”

Comics recently added to this page

  • Daybreak, “Episode 46”
  • Ice Cold, “Bonus Episode: Hard questions”
  • I Seduced the Hero’s Mother, “Episode 10”
  • The Vampire Librarian, “Part 36”
  • Vixen: NYC, “Episode 40”
  • Vixen: NYC, “Episode 40”
  • WBM: Black Joy Anthology, “Bakery Man – 2”

Films recently added to this page

None of this month

Other entries recently added to this page

None of this month


© 2023 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 anime Comics fantasy Fiction genres Movies music mystery Pop culture mediums science fiction slice-of-life speculative fiction webcomics

Recently added titles (December 2022)

Mari Tamaki reading in the library. Library call numbers as shown.
In the first episode of A Place Further Than the Universe, Mari Tamaki is shown reading a book which has the namesake of the series.

Building upon the titles listed for July/August, September, OctoberNovember, and and December 2021, and January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November of 2022, 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. Hopefully there will be more animated series, films, or other entries with libraries or librarians in the days, weeks, and months to come, but I did come across a good deal in comics and anime this past month.

Animated series recently added to this page

  • Billy & Mandy aka The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, “Duck!”
  • China, IL, “Charlize”
  • China, IL, “Chinese New Year”
  • Doug Unplugs, “Volunteer Bot”
  • Ever After High, “True Hearts Day – Part 1”
  • Ever After High, “Thronecoming”
  • Ever After High, “Way Too Wonderland”
  • Ever After High, “Dragon Games”

Anime series recently added to this page

  • A Place Further Than the Universe, “One Million Yen For Youth”
  • A Place Further Than the Universe, “Kabukicho Fremantle”
  • Bibliophile Princess, “Intentions of the Butterflies”
  • Bibliophile Princess, “A Nuisance”
  • Chitose Got You!, “Reading books in Autumn?”
  • Gosick, “The Golden Thread Cuts Through a Passing Moment”
  • Gosick, “There’s a Mysterious Ghost in the Abandoned Storehouse”
  • Gosick, “The Gray Wolves Summon Their Brethren”
  • Gosick, “Blue Roses Bloom in the Cannibal Department Store”
  • Gosick, “Girl with a Cold Dreams of Her Stubborn Friend”
  • Gosick, “That Drill Eloquently Speaks of Love”
  • Gosick, “The Cicadas are Heard on Summer Afternoons”
  • Gosick, “A Fool Designates His Own Mouthpiece”
  • Gosick, “A Malicious Frill Denounces a Farting Newt”
  • Gosick, “The Rose Colored Life is Buried Under Fresh Snow”
  • Gosick, “The Bells of Christmas Eve Toll at the Heels of Time”
  • Gosick, “A Christmas Carol Decorates the Windowsill’s Happiness”
  • Gosick, “Looking at Infinity over the Grim Reaper’s Shoulder”
  • Healer Girl, “First Steps, Horror, and a First Job!”
  • Healer Girl, “Become My Servant • Russian Food and Sweet Dreams”
  • Myself ; Yourself, “The Important Melody”
  • Re:Zero, “The Happy Roswaal Family”
  • Re:Zero, “The Morning of Our Promise is Still Distant”
  • Re:Zero, “The Sound of Chains”
  • Re:Zero, “Natsuki Subaru’s Restart”
  • Re:Zero, “I Cried, Cried My Lungs Out, and Stopped Crying”
  • Re:Zero, “The Meaning of Courage”
  • Smile of the Arsnotoria the Animation, “Sn-…”
  • Smile of the Arsnotoria the Animation, “Wa—–“
  • Smile of the Arsnotoria the Animation, “SSSS—–“
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san, “Studying for the Test” [Season 1 Episode 5 Part 1]
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san, “Fireworks” [Season 2 Episode 11 Part 2]
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san, “”Library Duty” [Season 3, Episode 2, Part 4] [3.2d]
  • Teasing Master Takagi-san, “Knitting” [Season 3, Episode 7, Part 4]

Comics recently added to this page

  • I Seduced The Hero’s Mother, “Episode 7”
  • I Seduced The Hero’s Mother, “Episode 8”
  • My Masochistic Boss, “[S2] 7 – Most Important”
  • Reeds, “It’s not fair”
  • Reeds, “Sick to my stomach”
  • Royal Library
  • Sisters at War, “Haera Chu (6)”
  • Through the Library Door
  • The Fantasy Book Club, “Best Gift Ever”
  • The Haunting of Library Ruins
  • The Hidden Witch
  • The Heart of the Library Dragon (upcoming in late Dec)
  • The Witch Boy

Films recently added to this page

  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (2017)
  • I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (2018)
  • Nightbooks (2018)
  • Romance Is a Bonus Book (2019)
  • The Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)
  • The School for Good and Evil (2022)
  • Wanted (2008)

Other entries recently added to this page

  • Dash & Lily (2020) [Streaming live-action TV series] 
  • Goodbye, Columbus (1959) [Novel]
  • Good Witch (2015-2021) [Live-action TV Series]
  • Shadow and Bone (2021-Present) [Live-action TV series]
  • The Bureau of Magical Things (2018-Present) [Live-action TV series]
  • The Librarians (2007-2010) [Live-action TV series]
  • The Magicians (2015-2020) [Live-action TV series]
  • The Ray Bradbury Theater (1985-1992) [Live-action TV series]

Currently I have a page for other entries which is under construction, but due to the fact it has very few entries, it is currently in draft form.

© 2023 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 animated animation anime Black people comedy comic books Comics drama fantasy Fiction genres French people idol Japanese people Librarians Libraries live-action magic libraries Movies Pop culture mediums public libraries special libraries speculative fiction webcomics White people

End of the year wrap-up and looking forward to 2023

Views and visitors to this website as shown in the stats for Dec. 21, 2022. The numbers have undoubtedly gone up since then.

Hey everyone! This is my last post of 2022. I’d like to talk about what I’ve accomplished this year on this blog and look forward to the coming year. [1] I have continued to write about library classification, librarians of color, library stereotypes, library users, LGBTQ librarians, and much more, even more than I did in 2021.

I began the year with the recently added titles from December 2021, along with a post on Sarah, the book jail and the “sanctity of library property” in Too Loud. I followed that with posts on Mateo in Elena of Avalor, and the church library in Ascendance of a Bookworm. Posts in later months focused on Amity Blight in The Owl House, the fictional library in LoliRock, reprinted my review of libraries/librarians in The Owl House for I Love Libraries, Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony, the Library of the Eternal Equinox in Mysticons, and reprinting yet another post from I Love Libraries, this one about libraries in Milo Murphy’s Law. One of my favorites, from those first three months of this year was on the unnamed buff librarian in Totally Spies! (expanding from a post on the same subject I had written in May 2021), a post which garnered attention on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit. In that post, I wrote:

…The episode clearly is setting the expectation that librarians aren’t “supposed” to be this strong. Rather they supposed to be “wimps,” as the librarian herself remarks, and “mild-mannered” as Jerry, the head of WHOOP, head of the spy agency…put it. Without a doubt, it is wrong for a librarian to assault patrons. Her reaction is understandable…when it comes down to it, I would even venture that Sam, and maybe even Alex, are fine with this librarian being buff, as long as the librarian isn’t decking patrons of course…By the episode end, there is an open question as to whether those whose personalities have been switched are switched back. This is because the spies don’t have time to switch back the personalities of anyone, apart from Jerry and Clover. Did they switch the personalities of the librarian and wrestler? Or did they leave them intact? That is open to viewer interpretation…I would argue that by being buff, this librarian is going against usual depictions of librarians, often as those who are strict, elderly, and uptight, as Snoek-Brown explains…I still think it is possible she was voiced by Janice Kawaye, an actress of Japanese descent who has voiced characters since 1983…Although this librarian in Totally Spies! is the only fictional librarian that I am aware of who lifts weights, jumps rope, and does other exercises, there are actual librarians who are also weightlifters…In writing this post, I really got into it and found that there are two wrestlers out there who compete using a librarian gimmick…inaccurate image of a librarian in popular culture, a ‘petite, humorless woman…dressed in dowdy clothes, spectacles on her face, [and] hair knotted in a bun.’ A weightlifting librarian, or a wrestler-librarian…blows that completely out of the water, without question.

In April, I reprinted a post I wrote about Kaisa for Jennifer Snoek-Brown’s Reel Librarians, arguing that she is one of the best depictions of fictional librarians to date. That same month, I posted on the librarian, Barebones, in Brownie and Barebones, and the High Guardian Academy library in High Guardian Spice. This was followed by posts in May on Blinky’s library in Tales of Arcadia, and Gabrielle in the animated filmI Lost My Body. Some of my other favorite posts that I wrote which were published in May, and in later months, are as follows:

I also began my Behind the Screen series, profiling Black voice actors, Asian and Latin American voice actors, Indian voice actors, Japanese voice actors, and Japanese and English voices, who bring fictional librarians to life. Other posts were about The Stanza in Welcome to the Wayne, Mo Testa in Dykes to Watch Out For, Cleopatra in Space and information deficits in libraries, Page Turner in the Arthur TV series, the Roubai Academy Library in Akebi’s Sailor Uniform, and intersex characters and libraries.

I am proud this year that I finally added a page on librarians and libraries in film and another on watching pop culture media which I watch on this blog, showing where you can find the shows / films I’m writing about on this blog, making it accessible to the readers.  I additionally did a huge update to the Bibliography page, so it now lists articles cited in each post and makes that available to users, while gutting the pages I had on Jennifer Snoek-Brown, who is often cited on this blog, and “Higgins o-rama.”

Upcoming next year will be a continuation of the Behind the Screen series with posts on White female and White male voice actors who bring fictional librarians to life, and revisiting the fictional librarians in Archie’s Weird Mysteries, which I had written about a while back. There will also be a post examining Hanamaru Kunikida in “Love Live! Sunshine!!”, a librarian and a school idol all in one!

Onward to 2023!

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] Other than I ones I note in the main part of this post, I also posted recently added titles for January 2022, February 2022, March 2022, April 2022, May 2022, June 2022, July 2022, August 2022, September 2022, October 2022, and November 2022. There is an upcoming post in January which lists recently added titles for December 2022.

action adventure animation anime fantasy Fiction genres Japanese people Librarians Libraries Pop culture mediums public libraries speculative fiction webcomics White people

Fictional trans librarians and the reality of trans library users

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance or TDoR, which has been celebrated since November 20, 1999, with a small group, including Gwendolyn Ann Smith, creating the day to memorialize the murder of a trans woman, Rita Hester, in Allston, Massachusetts. Since then, this day remembers those murdered as a result of transphobia and draws attention toward continued violence that trans people experience on a daily basis. [1] As such, this post will talk about a few trans librarians in fiction, while noting the experience of trans librarians in real life, like the late Katherine Cummings who is noted in the video at the beginning of this post, and put out a book in 2007 entitled The Life and Loves of a Transgendered Lesbian Librarian. This post highlights two trans librarians in particular: Desiree in Too Loud and Oshima in Haruki Murakami’s 2002 novel, Kafka on the Shore.

I’ve written about her before, but Desiree is perhaps the most prominent trans librarian in fiction in recent memory. Given another name for much of the series, she works alongside with her sister Sara as a volunteer librarian at the local library, the episode “Slumber Party Sneak-In” was supposed to be the final episode of the series. In this episode, she dresses up as a girl and goes to a slumber party with her sister and when the girls find this out, they embrace her, and are accepting, saying they will like her whether she is a closeted boy or as a trans girl, and she feels better about herself as a result. [2] The episode itself was later described by the show’s creator, Nico Colaleo, as his favorite episode of the series and an important, “pro-transgender episode.” This is probably in part because Colaleo voices Desiree throughout the series. He also said that if the series was ever renewed for a third season, she would appear again and as a trans woman. [3] 

I wrote about her more in December of last year, describing her as “the only trans librarian I have ever written about on this blog” and adding that she is a series protagonist, noted that the series focuses on friendship, togetherness, and acceptance. I also argued that she smashes stereotypes about librarians by being very talkative while many librarians shush people and said she is unique as a trans woman but similar to other White female librarians in animation.

Desiree is not alone in this. Professor Caraway, the trans male professor in High Guardian Spice, who is voiced by the series creator Raye Rodriguez and has his own library of books. Shuichi Nitori, the protagonist of Wandering Son, goes to the school library with her friend, Saori Chiba, but feels unwelcome at first, and later sees it as a serious place of study as I wrote in August 2020. Additionally, in a webcomic of Sophie Labelle, known as Serious Trans Vibes, a curation of her more well-known comic, Assigned Male, a middle-schooler named Stephie is shown in a library, with Labelle writing, in one issue, that while some say the comic is absurd because it has “too many” trans characters, she asks whether readers have tried to randomly find “a book featuring trans characters in the library,” or tried to find a trans character in the “billions of pages.” She then calls both of those propositions absurd.

Beyond these characters is Oshima, the protagonist of Haruki Murakami’s novel, Kafka on the Shore. He is a 21-year-old intellectual gay trans man who owns a cabin near the Komura Memorial Library, where he works. He is also the mentor of Kafka, helping him get the answers he seeks. [4] The book features the manager of the private library, Miss Saeki, a former singer,and has a normal outward appearance but suffers after the death of her boyfriend. Some have even said that Oshima represents the “mind-body-spirit split within Kafka” and said that he is 21-years-old, and is a hemophiliac. He was prominent enough to be mentioned in rankings and listings of fictional librarians by Lit Hub and by Penguin Random House. [5]

On page 43 of Issue 108 of Transgender Tapestry, asking subscribers to promote the magazine, by the International Foundation for Gender Education, which ran from 1979 to 2008, in their libraries

There are undoubtedly other trans characters who are librarians out there, although none stick out particularly on the “List of fictional trans characters” Wikipedia page, in part because I haven’t watched or read many of those series. For now, I’d like to point to something beyond the fictional characters, and into reality: trans library users. This is abundantly clear from chatter below issues of Jocelyn Samara DiDomenick’s webcomic, Rain, with a trans girl protagonist, Liriel Rain Flaherty. People in the comments noting the value and limits of public libraries, in terms of what they can offer trans people, or how they were reading the comic itself in the library. Others heralded library computers as their “friend,” wanting to add the comic to their library, available library resources, and DiDomenick applauding a user who noted that they could read Rain in their local library. [6]

More directly, you can read views of trans people themselves in the aforementioned magazine, Transgender Tapestry. There were stories of students who lamented “invisibility on the shelves” and worked with librarians to ensure there would be more transgender titles on the shelves, a transgender doctor who smuggled out books from the library as they were too embarrassed to sign for them, and a librarian from a small university writing about trans representation in television and films. Additional articles described the dedication of the National Transgender Library & Archive, had an article by a trans female librarian, the library and archives of the magazine’s publisher housed at the Rikki Swan Institute, and noted a person’s offer of employment rescinded by the Library of Congress because she was trans, leading them to dub LOC the “Library of Bigots.”

Further items focused on the importance of libraries, proud trans librarians, library organization (in an ad), a help wanted librarian ad, library use to search for information on intersex people, and making sure trans books are in libraries. In other transgender publications, there were mentions of the person serving as the National Librarian of the Renaissance Transgender Association, the career of a trans librarian (Cummings, who I mentioned earlier), a law librarian liaison, and tries to appeal to “budding librarians.” [7]

On the other side are trans librarians themselves. This has been occasionally covered in the existing literature, including a 2019 article by scholars Zoe Fisher, Stephen G. Krueger, Robin Goodfellow Malamud, and Ericka Patillo, providing “multiple ways of seeing the complexities of expressing gender identity and sexual orientation in the library workplace,” a column “dedicated to amplifying the voices of transgender, nonbinary (nb), and queer library people” which was named Trans + Script, and an article on LGBTQ information needs. There are also articles on creating “transgender and gender non-conforming inclusive library spaces” and an ALA page about affirming and supporting trans library staff and patrons. [8] Beyond this are oral history interviews with a gay trans man, a queer man, a non-binary person, and a trans woman, all of whom were librarians, by NYPL as part of the NYC Trans Oral History Project. [9] With that is an important reminder about deadnaming trans people from interested scholars and what they point out:

Describes a trans or non-binary person’s birth name that is no longer used, usually because it doesn’t reflect their gender identity. This concept has its origins in the trans community, and it is intended to reflect the intensity of the disconnect between the trans or non-binary person’s current identity and the birth name, and to indicate the level of discomfort, disrespect, and potential danger experienced by the trans or non-binary person when someone uses that name. Deadnaming is a microaggression wherein one uses a trans or non-binary person’s birth name without consent.

I am hopeful that I will find more trans librarians as I continue to watch animation, anime, and other forms of pop culture in the days, weeks, and months ahead. If there are any trans librarians, in fiction, that I didn’t mention here, [10] feel free to leave a comment below. I see this article as a way to open up this blog to cover many other subjects and not stay restricted within a small area, while educating the readers of this blog on important topics. That will be all for this post. Until next week! See you all then.

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] Gwendolyn Ann Smith, “Transgender Day of Remembrance: Why We Remember,” Huffington Post, Feb. 2, 2016, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; Ethan Jacobs, “Remembering Rita Hester,” Edge Media Network, Nov. 15, 2008, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; “Transgender Day of Remembrance 2007,” Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, 2007, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; “Transgender Day of Rememberance,” Human Rights Campaign, Jun. 2015, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; Lainey Millen, “North Carolinians mark Transgender Remembrance Day,” QnotesCarolinas, Nov. 20, 2008, accessed Feb. 26, 2022.

[2] Nico Colaleo, “That would be Dreamworks’ fault for airing this episode out of order. -_- This episode was intended to be at the end of this season,” Twitter, Oct. 17, 2019, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; Owl Fisher and Fox Fisher, “‘It takes away the stigma’: five of the best cartoons with transgender characters,” The Guardian, Jun. 30, 2020, accessed Feb. 26, 2022.

[3] Nico Colaleo, “Yay for pro-trans cartoons. Here’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever gotten to create 🙂❤️,” Twitter, Dec. 2, 2020, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; Nico Colaleo, “TOO LOUD SEASON 2 continues with “SLUMBER PARTY”! This is my favorite episode of Season 2 – And a very important one. Our pro-transgender episode. ❤️Tune in to this thread for production art and BTS! And please RT/Share! #TooLoudCartoon #TooLoudSeason2,” Twitter, Sept. 25, 2019, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; Nico Colaleo, “I’m sorry! I’ve had to explain this to many people bummed about the same thing: This ep was intended to air at the end of the season, but DreamWorksTV aired it out of order and way too soon. Yes S3 would have more Desirée, but DWTV owns Too Loud and they haven’t ordered a S3,” Twitter, Aug. 28, 2021.

[4] “Oshima,” The Haruki Murakami Wiki, Jul. 13, 2019, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; Charles Isherwood, “Review: ‘Kafka on the Shore,’ a Metaphysical Odyssey Adapted From Murakami’s Novel,” New York Times, July 25, 2015, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; David Mitchell, “Kill me or the cat gets it,” The Guardian, Jan. 7, 2005, accessed Feb. 26, 2022.

[5] Maria Flutsch, 2006, “Girls and the unconscious in Murakami Haruki’s Kafka on the Shore” [Abstract], Japanese Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1; Lisa Ito, “Characters,” Kafka on the Shore, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; Books with Librarian Characters,” Penguin Random House Marketing, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; Emily Temple, “50 Fictional Librarians, Ranked,” Lit Hub, Oct. 16, 2019, accessed Feb. 26, 2022.

[6] See comments by Gilly and Eh below the issue “Comic 1297 – Only Two” on Oct. 14, 2020, AmbiguousMouse below the issue “Comic 357 – Bringing in the New Year” on Apr. 16, 2013, Artemis-Orion and nemo below the issue “Comic 838 – Non-Issue” on May 26, 2016, trans-meerkat below the issue “Comic 1317 – Ten Years of Rain!” on Nov. 29, 2020, YamiSelina below the issue “Comic 289 – Mopey” on Nov. 25, 2012, Marina below the issue “Comic 1444 – Eleven Years of Rain” on Nov. 29, 2021, drs below the issue “Comic 1247 – Important Message” on Mar. 13, 2020, mangocloud and Jocelyn (DiDomenick) below the issue “Comic 955 – Not Unfeminine” on Jun. 7, 2017.

[7] Bob Davis (2006), “Transgender Activism at City College of San Francisco,” Transgender Tapestry, No. 110, p. 42; Grace Goode (2008), “Trans/Gender Doc–Interview with Dr. Lisa O’Connor,” Transgender Tapestry, No. 110, p. 43; Teague, Gypsey (2003), “The Increase of Transgender Characters in Movies and Television,” Transgender Tapestry, No. 102, p. 33; Sandra Cole (2005), “Trans History Made in Ann Arbor,” Transgender Tapestry, No. 108, p. 2629; Stephe Feldman (2004), “Androgyne Online,” Transgender Tapestry, No. 108, p. 38-39; “Rikki Swan Institute” (2000), Transgender Tapestry, No. 90, p. 11; Helms, Monica F. (2005), “…And That’s the Way It Is,” Transgender Tapestry, No. 109, p. 11; Lisa Renee Ragsdale (2000), “Two Letters,” Transgender Tapestry, No. 92, p. 7; “Warm Welcome To” (2000), Transgender Tapestry, No. 92, p. 9; “Out and Proud” (2000), Transgender Tapestry, No. 92, p. 48; “Sande Nelson’s Get Organized,” Transgender Tapestry, No. 92, p. 56; “Help Wanted” (2000), Transgender Tapestry, No. 89, p. 33; Kiira Triea, “The Awakening” (2000), Transgender Tapestry, No. 89, p. 48; Arlene Istar Lev (2000), “Trans Forming Families [Review],” Transgender Tapestry, No. 89, p. 70; Lee Etscovitz (Oct. 1998), “Making Sense Of It All,” News & Views, Vol. 12, No. 10, p. 18; Dallas Denny (Summer 1993-Spring 1994), Review of Katherine’s Diary: The Story of a Transexual and Beyond Belief: The Discovery of My Existence, Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. XV-XVI, p. 65; “Resources” (Oct. 1997), News & Views, Vol. 11, No. 10, p. 23; “New Editor Takes Reigns” (Oct. 1997), News & Views, Vol. 11, No. 10, p. 24; “Tough Gender Questions” (Dec. 1994), News & Views, Vol. 8, No. 12, p. 20; “INTLEP, Inc. Resource Directory,” (Jun. 1995), p. 3; Jennifer (Sept./Oct. 1990), “A Visit to the Real World,” t.g.i.c news, p. 8.

[8] Zoe Fisher, Stephen G. Krueger, Robin Goodfellow Malamud, and Ericka Patillo, “What It Means to Be Out: Queer, Trans, and Gender Nonconforming Identities in Library Work,” Darmouth Digital Commons, Darmouth College, 2019; Elsworth Carman and Jayne Walters, “Trans and Nonbinary Library People Are Everywhere | Trans + Script,” Library Journal, Sept. 28, 2020; John Siegel, Martin Morris, and Gregg A. Stevens (2020), “Perceptions of Academic Librarians toward LGBTQ Information Needs: An Exploratory Study,” College & Research Libraries, Vol. 81, No. 1; Amy Giligan, “Transgender Allyship in Libraries,” University of San Francisco Scholarship Repository, Jun. 5 2020, accessed Feb. 26, 2022; “Libraries Respond: Protecting and Supporting Transgender Staff and Patrons,” American Library Association, accessed Feb. 26, 2022.

[9] See the interviews of Kyle Lukoff (also see here), Hayden Gibson, Sage, and Paris Milane.

[10] See the /r/transpositive post, “Trans Librarian Wins Alaska Court Case” article, Hazel Jane Plante, Sophie Ziegler, for examples of real trans librarians, along with Aydin Kwan, one of the founders of the Queer Comics Database, TransLibrarian. There’s also a fictional trans male librarian someone in created Picrew, or this adaptation on a scene.

academic libraries action adventure animation anime Comics fantasy Fiction genres Japanese people Librarians Libraries magic libraries Pop culture mediums public libraries romance school libraries slice-of-life speculative fiction webcomics White people

From Lilith to Amity: LGBTQ librarians shine through

Today is National Coming Out Day, a day to celebrate the act of “coming out,” i.e. when an LGBTQ person publicly shares their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. In honor of that, I’d like to highlight some LGBTQ librarians I’ve written about on this blog, this year and years previously, and others on the List of fictional librarians that I put together in late 2021.

Lilith in Yamibou

She is the caretaker of the Great Library (after Adam), and travels through much of the series with a girl she has a crush on, Hazuki, going through book worlds, looking for Eve. The latter is later shown as another caretaker of the library, who loves Hazuki. Part of her duty is to make sure worlds within the books are secure, an interesting job as a librarian. Due to the fact she is one of the protagonists of this series, who has considerable knowledge and wisdom, it means that libraries are still a key part of the series.

Anne and Grea in Manaria Friends

Anne is one of the protagonists who is a soft-spoken girl, Princess, and honor student at Mysteria Academy, a prestigious magic school. Anne even ventured through the “forbidden” archives of the library in order to find something which would cure Grea of a fever. She and Grea appear to enter a relationship later on. Both work in the library as assistants, although not as full-fledged librarians.

Sophie Twilight in Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood

One of the protagonists of this anime, she drinks blood, but only when refrigerated, and she is shown weeding through her books in one episode. She has a refined appearance and liked going to comic book conventions. She brings in a high school girl, Akari, to live in her house, and appears to have feelings for her. Another vampire girl, Ellie, clearly is romantically attracted to her as well.

Fumi Manjōme in Aoi Hana / Sweet Blue Flowers

In one episode, she weeds books and remembers her kiss with Sugimoto. Later in the episode, she later talks with other students about the role and influence the Literary Club has on the library. In another episode, Fumi and Sugimoto go to the library and kiss there. Ultimately, Fumi at least knows some library skills, in terms of weeding, which is an important part of library work.

Chiyo Tsukudate in Strawberry Panic!

She works at the school library at Astrea Hill, known as Maiden’s Garden, and is a member of the literary club. She looks up to her fellow students and undoubtedly has a crush on Nagisa, one of the show’s protagonists. She checks out books and does other library duties well and efficiently. The library is a key location in the series.

Azusa Aoi in Whispered Words

In the episode “Did You See the Rain?,” she serves as the librarian in this episode, while the Girls Club members go on a treasure hunt to find a message, coming in and out of the library throughout the episode. Later, Azuza joins them in their quest. Azusa is a studious person who reads during breaks and takes an interest in learning, perfect for a librarian. She is a fan of yuri and loves Masaka Orino, unaware it is Ushio‘s older brother.

Fumio Murakumi in Girl Friend Beta

Fumio and Erena

Although she was originally introverted and lonely, she got more friends after meeting Erena. She works at the school library. Erena appears to be the closest one to her and both may be in a relationship with one another, although its implied.

George and Lance in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

They call themselves historians, but run a family library/archives/museum. in a magical forest known as the Whispering Woods They are Bow’s dads. They are two middle-aged men and help the show’s protagonists translate an ancient message in the Season 2 finale. In a later episode, Bow and Glimmer meet George and Lance who tell them about an ancient rebellion and fail-safe on a superweapon. This information  becomes vitally important going forward.

Desiree in Too Loud

Desiree with her sister, Sara, and Sara’s friends at a slumber party

She is a trans woman. In an episode which was supposed to end the show, according to series creator Nico Colaleo, she begins to explore her trans identity, as she had been a closeted in her usual workday. This episode, “Slumber Party Sneak-In” was praised by reviewers. Desiree works every day with her sister Sara and co-worker Sarah at the local public library, but has a voice which is so loud, hence the name of the series, smashing library stereotypes along the way.

Amity Blight in The Owl House

Luz and Amity blush at one another in the episode “Through the Looking Glass Ruins”

She is a librarian who works at the Bonesborough Public Library, is a witch, and a student at Hexside Academy. Over the course of the story, her relationship with a human witch named Luz Noceda develops and later they begin a romantic relationship.

Sabine in Sabine: an asexual coming-of-age story

Sabine working at the library desk in episode 115.

The protagonist of this webcomic, Sabine works in the local school library as a part-time job, beginning early in the comic. She a fully committed asexual girl who tries to make friends and not have any romantic relationships, just like the comic’s author. The later also implies that she is, as a result, aromantic as well as asexual. Not all aromantic people are asexual, and vice versa. She is still learning more about herself all of the time, while she majors in history. As the comic’s author stated, Sabine is unaware of her asexuality, and isn’t sure she is aromantic, just that she isn’t ready for sex.

Mo Testa in Dykes to Watch Out For

Mo and Sydney

As the protagonist of this comic, and later comic book, she is a graduate of library school who worked at a feminist bookstore named Madwimmin Books, and appreciated “literary connectivity.” She is a committed lesbian feminist who later gets a job as a reference librarian. She has a lover in college named Clarice, but her eventual partner is a woman named Sydney. The comic’s creator, Alison Bechdel, recognized she was a lesbian after checking out books from the library, stating that an apparent “a key characteristic of queer people [is]…shamed persons who are drawn to lonely stacks and secret research,” and she worked at the circulation desk as a librarian while she was a college student, influencing the comic itself. She also stated that Mo had been drawn into “the pitfall of vocational awe, believing that her public library job is a religious calling.”

Concluding words

It is undetermined if Azusa Aoi in Whispered Words is LGBTQ. You could also argue that Kaisa in Hilda, a feisty character with unmatched knowledge of mystical items and cemetery records, who is a mysterious witch, is asexual based on her color scheme. There will likely be other LGBTQ librarians in the future, since many anime series have characters who go into libraries. [1]

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] This includes the Mysterious Library house base in Smile PreCure (an anime) and Marisa Kirisame frequently going to the library in Touhou Project (a video game). There are also apparent library scenes in Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo (a visual novel), Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka (Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka) (an anime), Himawari-san (a manga), Kimi to Tsuzuru Utakata (a manga), Maria-sama ga Miteru (a manga), Shitsurakuen (a manga), Kamitsure (visual novel), Märchen Mädchen (an anime), Flowers (manga), Roundabout of Yuri Hime Collection (collection),  Lyrical Nanoha, Yuri Shimai (manga), BanG Dream!, Kuchibiru Tameiki Sakurairo (manga), Himewari-san (manga), Yuri Shimai (manga), Kyuuketsuki-chan to Kouhai-chan (Vampire-chan x Junior-chan) (manga), Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk and Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea (video games), Conflict Girl (visual novel), Watashi wa Succubus to Kiss o Shita (manga), Fuwafuwa Futashika Yume Mitai (manga), Please Be Happy (visual novel), The Caged Bird Sings Theme Of Love (manga), Sakura Sadist (visual novel), A Piece of Candy of Yuri Hime Collection (manga), Once on a Windswept Night (visual novel), Yuri Hime Collection (manga), The Three-Second Rule of Yuri Hime Collection (manga), Nuku Nuku Toshoiin (manga), The Three Second Rule of Yuri Hime Collection (manga), Man’in Chijo Densha 2 (manga), Nozomi Kanaetamae ~Daydream Reconstruct~, and Kohonya (visual novel), and Hanidebi! Honey & Devil (visual novel).

action adventure animation anime comedy Comics fantasy Fiction genres Librarians Libraries Movies music Pop culture mediums public libraries romance school libraries special libraries speculative fiction supernatural webcomics White people

Recently added titles (August 2022)

Blitzo and Stolas in the newest episode of Helluva Boss

Happy Read a Book Day! Building upon the titles listed for July/August, September, OctoberNovember, and and December 2021, and January, February, March, April, May, June, and July 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. Hopefully there will be more that I find in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Animated series recently added to this page

  • Helluva Boss, “The Circus”
  • Totally Spies!, “WOOHP-Ahoy!”
  • Totally Spies!, “Little Dude”

Anime series recently added to this page

  • K-On!, “Finals”
  • Noir, “Two Hands of the Soldats”
  • Smile of the Arsnotoria the Animation, “Sniff…”

Comics recently added to this page

  • As the Crow Flies, “Episode 8.5”
  • Sabine: an asexual coming of age story, “One Hundred Twenty Eight”
  • Smity and Majesty, Episode 51
  • The Siren’s Light, “Chapter 5 (5)”
  • The Siren’s Light, “Chapter 5 (6)”
  • Vixen: NYC, Episode 11
  • Winter Before Spring, Episode 50

Films recently added to this page

None this month.

Picatrix reads about Devils Tongue in an episode of Smile of the Arsnotoria the Animation, within the castle’s library, in hopes of helping Arsnotoria regain her super-sense of smell by learning about something with an awful smell, hoping it will shock her back to reality.

© 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 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!

comic books Comics fantasy Fiction genres graphic novels Librarians speculative fiction webcomics White people

Fictional Librarian of the Month: Mo Testa in “Dykes to Watch Out For”

Left to right, panels of Mo in episodes 1, 3, 8, 11, and 13

Hello everyone! This continues from the “Fictional Librarian of the Month” entries for November, December, January, February, March, April, and May, 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 Mo Testa in Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For. Here we go!

About the librarian

Mo’s official description describes her as a “worrier and kvetch extraordinaire, with a job at now-defunct Madwimmin Books on the side” which also notes that she has “since graduated from library school.” It was also said she has a “dedication to social justice combined with red and white striped shirts” and has two cats, specifically named Virginia and Vanessa.

Role in the story

Mo is a protagonist in this series, which became a “countercultural institution among lesbians and discerning non-lesbians all over the planet,” running from 1983 to 2008. In one comic, she applies for a job, but rejects it because previous librarian left as she disagreed with the Patriot Act, staying dedicated to her principles. She is later shown going to school, tries to remain informed, dealing with the death of her cat, and gets a library job. I love how the library was described as the “temple to the written word” in one comic as well.

Does the librarian buck stereotypes?

As a lesbian, she becomes a reference librarian and makes some personal calls at work. In the sense that she is White, female, and wears glasses, she falls into stereotypes of librarians. On the other hand, the fact she is passionate about her beliefs and this translates into her work as a librarian, and that stands against stereotypes.

Any similarity with librarians in other shows?

In some ways, she is similar with another librarian, Amity Blight, in The Owl House, who is a White woman and a lesbian. However, she is such a principled librarian which makes her unlike any other librarian on this blog, even more than someone like Kaisa in Hilda.

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.

adventure Comics fantasy Fiction genres Librarians speculative fiction webcomics White people

Fictional Librarian of the Month: Barebones in “Brownie and Barebones”

Barebones behind the information desk in the episode “Dereck (part four)

Hello everyone! This continues from the “Fictional Librarian of the Month” entries for November, December, January, February, and March 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 Barebones in the webcomic Brownie and Barebones, one of my favorite webcomics.

About the librarian

Barebones is a part-time human and dragon who lives with Brownie, a hapless artist, and has a boss who is a workaholic. This includes working as a librarian at a local library from time to time. He also, according to the Q&A, met Brownie in the library.

Role in the story

He is one of the webcomic’s protagonists and he goes on adventures with Brownie when he isn’t at work and she isn’t at the university. He is told to catalogue books and help patrons. He has occasional adventures in the library with Brownie. In a sense, he helps his boss, Anthony, get a boyfriend later in the series, as he likes hunky men. He is gay, while his boyfriend, Dereck, is bisexual, according to the Q&A.

Does the librarian buck stereotypes?

In the sense that he doesn’t want to do his job and slacks off from work, yes. Also, he is not shown shushing anyone. He also steals books from the library, so in that way he is a bad librarian. Sometimes he accidentally lights books on fire too.

Any similarity with librarians in other shows?

In the sense that he wears glasses, yes. However, he is British and there aren’t that many series I have watched as of yet, with British librarians, so that makes him different from other librarians. He also is skipping out on work all the time, more interested in going on adventures than going to the library where a strict Anthony is his boss.

© 2022 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.