Saturday, August 26, 2006

Warrior Librarian



Librarians love it when librarian characters show up in popular culture. I used to have a thick handout bundle that cited librarians in key and minor movie roles. Until I started watching Buffy: the Vampire Slayer a month ago, my favorite librarian in film was Rachel Weitz's role in The Mummy. When Evelyn Carnahan says, "I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am."

("And what is that?" asks the Brendan Frasier character.)

"I am... a librarian!" Evie replies with fervor. The music soars. The audience cheers. What a rush.

Still, Evelyn Carnahan is no match for school librarian, demon-expert and mentor to the Vampire Slayer, Rupert Giles. As a new watcher (no pun intended), I cannot do justice to honoring the character of Giles. However, librarian extraordinaire GraceAnne DeCandido can, and she does. Ms. DeCandido gave her assent for me to link her article on the Hero Librarian.

Here it is:

Rupert Giles and Search Tools for Wisdom in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by GraceAnne A. DeCandido

P.S. Why does my library system not yet have Librarian: Quest for the Spear?

P.P.S. I've just ordered a used copy of "Librarian: Quest for the Spear." I am willing to send it around. Just let me know, and we'll get a list going.

14 comments:

Nonny said...

Giles rules!!!!

I guess I could have mentioned his profession a long time ago. Then you might have become a fan a year ago.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Hey Nonny,
I did actually know Giles's profession when Buffy first aired (I watched part of one episode), but it was all about Xena then! You know, back when Xena was merely campy, Gabrielle was a storyteller, and there was no talk of mysterious pregnancies, body-switching, etc.

Lone Star Ma said...

Librarians rock!

The Moy said...

Yes, Giles is great. So is that show, in fact, and its emphasis on books.

My husband, who loathes most mainstream action shows or anying macabre, watched one episode of Buffy and became semi-addicted to it -- quite a compliment, considering that he is remembered by many as the Bay Area Jewish film critic who panned SCHINDLER'S LIST. (Spielberg is just too mainstream for him.)

But BUFFY he can watch. It's smart, doesn't take itself too seriously and is, above all, literate.

goddess of clarity said...

Yea, Buffy! And yea, Giles! I was never into Xena; I've never even seen en episode in it's entirety. But I was *sooo* all about Buffy. Maybe I need to give Xena a try, but I'm so glad you've discovered the love of Giles.

In fact, it was Giles that changed Mr. Goddess from a Buffy denier ("it's just a silly teen show") into a true believer, when, during the Thanksgiving episode, Giles meekly declares: "I like mushy peas."

"Me too!" screamed Mr. Goddess. And a convert was born.

I have never met a librarian -- fictional or otherwise -- who wasn't cool.

limpy99 said...

This might show up twice, don't know why it's not here now, but read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Lots of heroic librarians. Except for the ones who are really minions of Dracula.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Limpy99: Thanks for the book recommendation! I've placed a reserve on The Historian.. I've actually met some of the librarians who were minions of Dracula. In their defense, they had been sired by evil highschoolers bend upon chaos and destruction (etc.).

Goddess of Clarity: It's very kind of you to say that you've never met a librarian who wasn't cool. I've had my off-days, myself.

The Moy: So far, I've enjoyed the literature references. I had more than a passing sympathy for the girl in the "Invisible Man" episode.

Brad the Gorilla said...

My post today is about the mighty gorilla librarian.

Fridaysweb said...

Evie/Weitz is still my favorite (behind you , of course!). She's just so darn cute. Librarians definately do NOT receive their just dues in life. Who would the kids make fun of during study period? How would we have ever learned the dewy decimal system? And for heaven's sake, who would say "shhhhhh" over and over so we (I mean those other kids) could whisper "IT", for giggles and grins? Seriously, though, libriarians taught me my love of reading, the art of learning through books, and that it's OKAY to be a bookworm. Not all bookworms are nerds. Not any that I know, anyway.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Hey, Friday! You're funny. I think these days librarians are more likely to say "Stop running!" than "Shhhhhh." I appreciate the libraries that have the room to have quiet spaces. One of the libraries where I substitute has a teen room that is glassed in and sound-proof. Not that the rest of the library is quiet, but in the teen-room, you can play videogames, talk loudly, go wild (within reason). Check out the librarian action figure, though, with push-button "shhhhing" action (also comes in a deluxe edition). One of my colleagues told me that the kids who came into the library thought the librarian action figure on display was picking her nose.

Leila the Great said...

I love Giles, too! I've always thought he should have had his own READ poster.

Also, the story "Magic for Beginners", by Kelly Link is another librarian must-read. (Actually, the whole book is a must-read, but start with that one.)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

No kidding, Leila! I wonder why it never happened. Thanks for the book recommendation, too. I've just placed a reserve on Magic for Beginners.

Noodle said...

Try The Vandemark Mummy by Cynthia Voigt. And I really liked the Librarian movie, in all it's cheesy-ness. :o)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Noodle: I was on a Cynthia Voigt kick for awhile, and then I picked up The Vandemark Mummy. The book just didn't do it for me, and I thought, "Maybe it's because Voigt just moved from Maryland to Maine."