Yeah, it has been done. A lot. Probably every librarian with a blog has to write this post. This will be my first look at the librarian stereotype in popular culture, starting with movies. Librarian's in movies (in most media) exist are to tell the hero/audience the information they need to know to continue the story. They are exposition fodder. This list will attempt to give out the best of them. It will not be pretty. No, I will not cover all of your favorite movies. Honestly, I am not even gonna cover my favorite movies with librarians in them. I am simply going to cover the ones that I sort of remember that cover the gambit of the stereotype as I see it. Plus, most if not all are pretty fun to watch. Let us begin:
The Librarian series
Dr. Carter is The Librarian: an Indiana Jones wannabe tasked with finding, collecting, and storing all the mystical artifacts of the world in The Library. The clinch is that Dr. Carter (not his real fake name, his real name is Noah Wyle) uses not his nerve and power to get the job done, but his random knowledge of everything in the universe. Most of the solutions are a bit random and odd, but this series makes for good viewing fun if you find yourself stuck on TNT and your TV is drunk.
The Mummy series
The basic plot of this series is an Indiana Jones wannabe and his librarian sidekick woman slash wife keep raising up ancient mummy people who then try to destroy the world and/or Cleveland. The only reason the librarian in this movie is a librarian is so she can give random information and yell out "I'm a librarian!" in tense situations. I do not bemoan these movies or their protaganists, I just like to turn my brain off every once in a while.
The Music Man
I know three types of people that have watched this movie and will comment on it. The first is the average movie goer, who comments with a veracious "Eh." The second are musical fans, who dub the original 1962 version as one of the best things to hit singing cinema since something that is popular with those people. The third are librarians, who hate the Marion the Librarian cliche with a fire bordering akin to burning at Alexandria.
This independent movie is a fun romp as a goofy party girl becomes a librarianish person. I do not remember too much about this movie except the exceptional acting of Parker Posey and her reciting or saying something about the Dewey Decimal system. Insert snarky joke here. Ha ha! Good times, Good times, rent it and have fun.
The Gun In Betty Lou's Handbag
This little bit of cinema forget-me-not is about a small town librarian (Penelope Ann Miller) who gets the sexy back after having a fun little bit of mayhem and carnage. I think vampires were involved with circus midgets. I am also a liar.
It's a Wonderful Life
Donna Reed plays second fiddle to some dude who hates her life. She's a librarian. She does not fight crime in any way. He promises her the moon, yet she does not bother to tell him that is physically impossible, also fiscally impossible as his whole situation revolves around losing money. Wait for December and NBC or TBS will play this movie over and over.
The Home Alone kid breaks into a library after having some type of problem with his home life. After an adventure through the magical world of cartoon books, he learns something important. I dunno. I just remember Doc Brown as the creepy librarian. I think he inspired me to become a librarian. If you can find this movie, maybe you are The Librarian.
Awesome movie featuring this scene. Nuff said.