If you’re reading about books, then I know we likely have something else in common: we love the libraries that keep our books available and safe , and we also love their librarians, the people who are the guardians of our best treasures.
Maybe you have a fond memory of a librarian who led you to that perfect read when you thought nothing could ever win you over like the book you just finished. Or maybe a resourceful librarian helped you find a book from a vague description. Or perhaps there was someone who kept your favorite spot at that table in the corner saved for you to have your marathon study sessions. Let’s celebrate all the librarians, real and fictional, in these selections featuring the unsung heroes of the book world.
The Library of Lost and Found
Martha works at her local library and strives to help her patrons with whatever they need. These actions are often overlooked by her employers. Even by the library patrons themselves.
To make matters worse, she is very lonely. She took care of her parents in their last years and never moved out of her childhood home. Life has been very boring and very predictable for Martha until (and maybe you saw this coming) a book lands on her doorstep. Of course, a book will be the thing that leads to shocking discoveries about the family she thought she knew and the person she thought she was stuck being.
The Little Paris Bookshop
You might debate me on whether Monsieur Perdu is a bonafide librarian or not. I would argue that this gentleman who owns a business on a boat floating on the Seine must be in consideration. While technically his vocation is running his bookstore, I would tell you it’s actually plucking just the right book to soothe the particular situation his customer finds themselves in.
Monsieur Perdu doesn’t need to consult a database or list of recommendations. He just knows the right selection for the person standing before him. The problem is that he is suffering from heartbreak himself, but nothing in his bookstore has helped heal him so far. His healing will come from finally reading the letter that his one true love wrote for him after leaving him for good. And after reading it decades after it was received, he starts off on his own journey to find more clarity along with a sidekick who happens to be a bestselling author, of course.
What You Wish For
Librarians weren’t always librarians. Before becoming dedicated to their careers, they were young adults dreaming of a future, falling in love and even getting their hearts broken. At least this is the case for Samantha. But Samantha has chosen to bring joy to her elementary students that visit her school library despite her disappointments in love and own personal challenges.
This approach was working out well until the man that broke her heart takes the role as principal of her school. At least, she thinks the man is Duncan from her past but this rigid, serious man isn’t the same person that used to make her laugh or live in the moment. Will this librarian and the school community be able to remind Duncan that life is too short to play by the rules all the time?
The Giver of Stars
Besides an ice cream truck, the most exciting vehicle to roam a local neighborhood is a bookmobile. What could be better than books being delivered by your librarian practically to your doorstep making books (and the whole world, really) accessible to all?
When Alice moves from England to Kentucky, let’s just say the culture shock was more than she was expecting. But when Eleanor Roosevelt introduces a new initiative to bring books to citizens with a traveling library, Alice sees this as a way to get to know her new community better. Alice joins other motivated women in the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky and together they spread the gift of reading despite the resistance of the very folks they are pledged to serve.
This selection takes the helpful librarian trope and turns it on its head. What if the school librarian was just plain evil? Cyn Rothschild is taken with her new school librarian just like all the other students in her school. And why not? He’s so cool and his youth and good lucks have gotten the kids back into the library again.
So far, so good, right? But as Cyn’s friend Annie is on the verge of becoming a library monitor, Cyn starts to realize you can’t judge a book by its cover (I couldn’t resist). Mr. Gabriel is actually a demon and it’s up to Cyn to save her best friend and every student in her high school. Can she convince Annie or her crush, Ryan, that Mr. Gabriel is the evil librarian before it’s too late?
The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand
I’ve always believed that becoming a librarian required a special skillset but I never considered mad ninja skills until I accidentally (pun intended) came across the first in the series about Ninja Librarians called The Accidental Keyhand. And if you’ve ever wandered around your local library hoping to find a secret passage, join Dorrie and Marcus as they do just that.
But this passage doesn’t lead to just another room—Dorrie and Marcus have stumbled upon the headquarters of the Ninja Librarians. They are tasked with protecting the books and their authors that have had an impact on history. And did I mention this role involves time-traveling? This book only reinforces the awesome power of librarians.
A love for librarians often begins when one is very young. After all, a trip to the local library then often means a lively story time and a carefully curated selection of picture books displayed based on the season or situation: books to read when it’s back to school time, books to read when the winter snow falls, books to read when you’re afraid of the dark, or are going to be a big brother, etc.
Let’s finish out this list with a book honoring the magic contained within a library with a children’s book about a lion that finds his way into his local library and his librarian’s heart. Miss Meriweather, like many librarians, upholds all the rules but she comes to find that one of the most important jobs of any librarian is to make all patrons feel included. When Miss Meriweather finds herself in a terrible predicament, she’ll be so happy that this friendly lion and patron was allowed to stay.