Entering the library, there’s stacks and stacks of books to your left. On your right is a crabby elderly woman hunched over the front desk, sneering at you over her glasses like you’ve ascended from the dregs of a sewer rat colony. Not quite right? Maybe your librarian wore a pink cardigan, gave out stale butterscotch candies, and always smelled like honey and lavender. Or maybe it was a dude that judged your book taste whenever you checked out—the bitter ex-professor who never waived your late fee.
My point is, Dewey decimal devotees come in all shapes and sizes. As easy as it is to typecast your librarian, don’t be fooled by the glasses—they’re a diverse breed of bookies! To prove it, here’s a few of our favorite mold-breaking, ISBN-slaying librarians from your favorite movies and shows.
Evelyn O’Connell, The Mummy
Intrigued by ancient Egypt and its hidden relics and gems, Evelyn became a librarian to delve deeper into her childhood fascination. She’s clumsy and brilliant, not to mention killing it in the Librarian Babe Pool. Her wits aid the crew and saves them more than once, and best of all, she’s proud of her job—just like any alphabetizing wiz should be.
Watch The Mummy on Amazon.
Taystee, Orange is the New Black
Everyone needs a recommendation go-to, and even as a prison inmate, it’s no different. Intelligent, clever, knowledgeable—and, yes, a criminal—Taystee doesn’t mess around with books. And she sure doesn’t like when others mess around when she’s on library duty either.
Watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix.
Margaret Gesner, Monsters University
Although stereotypes are frowned upon, Margaret Gesner truly epitomizes the curmudgeon old librarian. Her form is ambiguous—snail, slug, squid?—but then again, I’ve always assumed Mike Wazowski was an edamame bean, so at least Margaret is beyond the realm of side dishes. From first looks, she appears to be your average librarian, but concealed beneath her desk are a swarm of tentacles. Equally useful for categorizing titles quickly or throwing whispering patrons out the window, she commands control over her library with a rigor unknown to any other spineless cephalopod.
Watch Monsters University on Amazon.
Belle, Beauty and the Beast
Because it wouldn’t be a pop culture list without at least one Disney reference. She’s the paragon of the literary morals we all seek to live by: don’t judge a book by it’s cover, don’t dog ear the pages, and sing about how much you love books. Belle turns down the hunky, vapid Gaston because he doesn’t read, and opts for the Beast instead. Like any good Disney story, love sets him free—and viola, he’s a hunk! Belle and the Beast live happily ever after, enjoying their lavish library and hanging out with Lenox’s finest kitchenware.
Watch Beauty and the Beast on Amazon.
Barbara Gordon, Batman
Librarian by day, crime-fighting heroine by night—Barbara Gordon tops the charts for most bad-ass librarian.
Watch Batman: The Animated Series on Amazon.
The Library Cop, Seinfeld
Eh, so we’re bending the rules on what it means to be a librarian. But if you’re remotely familiar with the episode “The Library”, you know that this New York Public Library employee is enough of a book enthusiast to claim the title—at least without anyone second guessing his elite bibliophile status. Seeking justice against “hippies burning library cards” and other offenders, the library cop makes a visits Jerry to sort out an unpaid book fee.
Buy the complete Seinfeld series on Amazon.
Tammy 2, Parks and Rec
This is the librarian who would bring inordinate amounts of booze to the book club and, debatably, illegal drugs. By far the funniest and most oversexed librarian in the realm of pop culture, Tammy is a typecast-breaking character who unites the world of books with total craziness.
Ghost Librarian, Ghostbusters
Ghosts—they’re just like us. Although this librarian appears sweet and demure at first, try to interrupt her reading and you’re in for a gnash of teeth and a piercing howl … Nothing motivates you to pay your 35 cent late fee like a ghost in a pink dress!
Watch Ghostbusters on Amazon.
Conan the Librarian, UHF
Imagine your local librarian. Now imagine his or her face slowly morphing into that of a chiselled Austrian build, and donning the clothes of a barbarian. It’s the lofty dream of many a librarian—to achieve the kind of force that can only be the emblem of the most ardent book lovers. Although superficially Conan is a parody of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian and our favorite household-name Austrian, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the character is also an assertive defence against librarianship being a strictly female trade.
Watch UHF on Amazon.
Of course, we can’t include every cool, nerdy, awesome, brainiac librarian in this list. Who’s your favorite?
This post originally appeared on Bookstr.
Featured still from "The Mummy" (1999), via Universal Pictures