Ten of Our Favorite Librarians Found in Pop Culture

Posted by Gemma Noon

Look I get it, at some point someone had a horrible experience in a library, and as a result we librarians are doomed to be typecast as grey haired old biddies who wear horn-rimmed glasses while we shush everything in sight. Thankfully we have used this stereotype to our advantage over the years to hide our true purpose; a purpose I am about to reveal to you know.

Librarians the world over are all part of a secret ninja society dedicated to protecting your right to read. 
And we have superpowers.
Don't believe me? Let's take a look at ten of the awesomest librarians out there, shall we? Then let's see how many of you rush out to attend library school.

Rupert Giles from Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Rupert Giles understood that high school can be dangerous – especially if it happens to be located on top of a Hellmouth. As the Watcher assignedto the Vampire Slayer Buffy Summers, Giles not only has to have the usual Librarian superpowers of being able to locate any piece of informationever created on a moment's notice, he can also fight, sing, play guitar, fence, speak several languages and is not above getting his hands dirty in order to get a job done.
Yomiko Readman from Read Or Die: Yomiko Readman, also known as The Paper, is a secret agent for the British Library. She is a Papermaster, which means she has the power to bend paper to her will, including making it bulletproof, turning it into swords or even working aeroplanes. She's even strong enough and capable enough to fight off a Samauri, which everyone knows is a vital skill in modern libraries the world over.
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Barbara Gordon / Batgirl / The Oracle from DC Comics: Head Librarian of Gotham Public Library and daughter of Police Commissioner James Gordon, Barbara had a secret double life as the red-headed crime fighter Batgirl. 
Following the events in The Killing Joke that saw her confined to a wheelchair, Barbara Gordon transformed herself into super information broker and researcher, The Oracle.  In the current DC reboot Barbara is no longer wheelchair bound and is no longer a librarian, but just because you can take a girl out of the library…
The Librarian from the Discworld Novels: On Terry Pratchett's Discworld, the Librarian at AnkhMorpork's Unseen University is a giant orangutan known as, um, the Librarian. Once a wizard, a magic spell gone wrong changed the Librarian into a great ape – and he has steadfastly refused to be turned back ever since. He's tried to erase all knowledge of his former identity, but rumours persist that he is in fact Dr Horace Worblehat.  Being an orangutan has its uses in library science; not only is it easier to climb shelves with armloads of books, it is far easier to rip the arms off a student who does not return a book on time. 
Evelyn Carnahan from The Mummy: Famous for the line "I am proud of what I am… a librarian!", Evie Carnahan spends her time looking after ancient texts and desecrating Egyptian tombs. This lady is not afraid to take on flesh eating scarabs, the Egyptian Undead and anyone who dares to threaten her family. 
The Librarians in Warhammer 40k: Librarians in the Games Workshop Universe Warhammer 40,000 are not librarians in the strictest sense of the word; rather they are post-genetically engineered super soldiers equipped with psychic weaponry that can reduce entire armies to quivering wrecks. Also, they can kill you with their brains.
Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad from Assassin's Creed: Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad is a hard-as-nails assassin from the 12th Century whose wall-climbing skills put most Parkour enthusiasts to shame. Embroiled in the long running war against the Knights Templar, Altair nevertheless found time to build a huge library beneath the Masyaf fortress. 
Admittedly the space appears to be lacking one rather important element to be truly considered a library (*cough* books *cough*) but seriously, this guy is a grade A assassin with rather cool robes to boot. Are you going to argue with him about technicalities?
Lucien The Librarian from The Sandman Comics: Lucien is Chief librarian in The Dreaming – the place people go to dream and create things. His job is to protect the library and its contents, which include all of the books that have ever been dreamt of, regardless of whether or not they were actually written. He may look frail, but don't be fooled: he is handy in combat  and has seen off some rather unpleasant creatures in his time.  
Of all the librarians on this list, Lucien has the job I envy the most. It's one thing to have every published work at your fingertips, but to also have all the books that could have been? I wouldn't know where to start.
Henry DeTamble from The Time Traveller's Wife: On the surface Henry seems like an ordinary enough fellow, right up until you find out he is genetically predisposed to jump about in time and space. Fair enough he can't control this power, but he uses it to his advantage a few times to ensure a couple of lottery wins and shrewd investments go in his family's favour. His greatest power, in my opinion, if that he disappears for days on end, then turns up naked in the stacks of his workplace, the Newberry Library in Chicago, and his colleagues put it down to his mildly eccentric character and let him keep his job. I'm fairly sure he has mind powers.
Lirael from the Old Kingdom Series: Many library folk didn't set out intending to work in libraries, we just sort of end up there. Lirael is no exception to this, but she makes a good go of it. On her first day she is given essential librarian equipment: a whistle to call for help, a magical mouse to run and get help, and a dagger to fight off danger if no help comes. Anyone whokeeps a cool enough head to use the head librarian's sword in order  to defeat a magical creature is not someone you want to be messing with. Which reminds me, I need to go buy a sword for my office.
Okay, so before the Secret Library Ninja Sect come and drag me off for questioning, I want to know who you think I have missed off this list and who would you remove? If you could trade places with any of the librarians above, who would you pick, and why?