Note: You can browse a more updated Christmas-themed movie round-up in my “Holiday round-up with reel librarians, 2019 update” post
Christmas on Division Street (TV, 1991):
Emmy-nominated TV movie that includes a “Librarian” and “Library Guard” in its credits. IMDb.com reviews mention a library scene, although I still haven’t seen this TV movie.
Desk Set (1957):
A classic librarian film that takes place around the holidays and includes a funny — and boozy — office Christmas party in the research department library.
- click here for film summary and librarian role call
- click here for movie/play comparison post
- click here for post featuring Desk Set lobby cards
Home by Christmas (TV, 2006)
A librarian is included in the credits of this Christmas-themed TV movie. I watched this movie last December, after my mom sent me a copy of the DVD. After a woman (Linda Hamilton) gets divorced from her cheating husband, she ends up homeless. A friend urges her to go to the library for books to study for the real estate license exam. There are a few shots in a public library and a few glimpses of an older reel librarian, complete with cardigan and half-moon glasses on a chain.
- click here for “Home by Christmas” film analysis post
- click here for “Three cheers for librarians!” post
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946):
Top 5 on my list of Christmas movie favorites — as well as my “Hall of Shame” list for reel librarian portrayals! It’s a wonderful film, indeed, one that also includes the most notorious “Spinster Librarian” scene of ’em all. 😉
- click here for film summary
- click here for “It’s a Wonderful … Stereotype?” film analysis post
- click here for “All hail Mary” post
- click here for “Spinster Librarian” post
The Last American Virgin (1982):
Not a Christmas movie, but it does include a brief scene set in the school library around the holidays. The school librarian is at the front counter, where there is a small — and sparsely decorated — Christmas tree, as seen below in this screenshot.
Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (1954):
The seventh entry in the “Ma and Pa Kettle” film series, one that includes character actress Mary Wickes as a “maiden lady librarian” who finds love under the mistletoe during a holiday party at the end of the film.
- click here for film summary
- click here for “Ma and Pa Kettle and the Lady Librarian” film analysis post
My Side of the Mountain (1969):
I had totally forgotten this movie had a Christmas scene in it, until I read the write-up on the Movie Librarians website (no longer active).
She [Miss Turner, the reel librarian in the film] is warm and caring, and the two become friends. Later they spend Christmas together.
The character of Miss Turner also made my “Hall of Fame” list:
[I]t does contain one of the most caring and thoughtful of all reel librarians. A public librarian helps a young boy find information about peregrine falcons and goes out of her way to find him more resources.
A new addition to the list! I discovered this holiday-themed title from both the Movie Librarians website and the “Libraries on Film” Pinterest site (neither of which are active). Here’s the write-up and pin from the latter:
This examination of the librarian stereotype focuses on Kerry Wall as small-town librarian Marjorie Worthington, whose scruffy librarian looks disqualify her for the role of Mary in a living nativity scene, according to the local priest (David Wall as Father Jonathan Keene) and her boyfriend (Curt Dewitz as Seth). She reads Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to children in the library.
True Colors (1991):
Another new addition to this holiday-themed list! I got this title from the Librarians in the Movies: An Annotated Filmography website. Here is the write-up for True Colors on that site:
An ambitious law student must spend Christmas at school so he uses the library to read magazines. Set in the University of Virginia Science and Engineering Library (formerly the law school library).
The Twelve Trees of Christmas (TV movie, 2013):
This Lifetime TV movie is not only Christmas-themed but also boasts a reel librarian as the main character! Plus, it stars Lindy Booth, who also plays a librarian on “The Librarians” TV series! I haven’t seen this TV movie yet, but I have it set to record soon on my DVR. Here’s the write-up on the TV guide:
A children’s librarian tries to save her beloved Manhattan library from being demolished to make way for a developer to build high-rise loft apartments. To generate media attention, she holds a Christmas tree decorating contest.
With Honors (1994):
Rounding out the list is a college-themed film that includes a few scenes in the college library, including one set during the Christmas holidays. In one brief scene, captured below in a screenshot, one can glimpse in the background a few college librarians exchanging gifts and holiday cheer.
Happy holidays! Is there another Christmas-themed film I need to add to this ongoing list? Please leave a comment and let me know!
- Desk Set. Dir. Walter Lang. Perf. Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Gig Young, Joan Blondell, Dina Merrill. 20th Century Fox, 1957.
- Home by Christmas (TV movie). Dir. Gail Harvey. Perf. Linda Hamilton, Brenda Crichlow. Lifetime, 2006.
- It’s a Wonderful Life. Dir. Frank Capra. Perf. James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers. RKO, 1946.
- The Last American Virgin. Dir. Boaz Davidson. Perf. Lawrence Monoson, Diane Franklin, Steve Antin.Golan-Globus Productions, 1982.
- Ma and Pa Kettle at Home. Dir. Charles Lamont. Perf. Marjorie Main, Percy Kilbride, Alan Mowbray. Universal, 1954.
- Raish, Martin. “The B Group.” Librarians in the Movies: An Annotated Filmography, 5 Aug. 2011.
- The Twelve Trees of Christmas (2013, TV movie)
- “User Reviews.” Christmas on Division Street (1991 TV Movie), IMDb.com.
- With Honors. Dir. Alek Keshishian. Perf. Joe Pesci, Brendan Fraser, Moira Kelly, Patrick Dempsey. Warner Bros., 1994.