Librarian action figure

“She has a removable cape and a deep understanding of how knowledge is organized. Celebrate an everyday hero!”

For my Christmas gift this year, my husband gifted me the brand-new version of the librarian action figure!

Librarian action figure closeup
Librarian action figure closeup

The first librarian figure was produced in 2003 by Archie McPhee, and this figure was modeled on legendary librarian Nancy Pearl, outfitted in a blue skirt suit. You can read more about the history of the librarian action figure here on the company’s website.

We librarians have had a love-loathe relationship with that original librarian action figure. We LOVED that we had an action figure of our own and that it was based on an awesome real-life librarian, Nancy Pearl, who inspired “one city, one book” programming and is the author of several Book Lust books. But we LOATHED the fact that the “super power” was shushing, and that the figure looked, well, so stereotypically dowdy (it was the shapeless skirt suit, y’all, not Nancy Pearl herself!). And the librarian outrage was global, as you can read more about here in this 2003 news article entitled ‘Outcry over librarian doll,’ published in an Australian newspaper.

Here’s a video starring the original librarian action figure:

Librarian Action Figure from Archie McPhee,” uploaded by Archie McPhee, Standard YouTube license

A “deluxe” version of this figure was released a few years later, featuring Nancy Pearl in a burgundy skirt suit, which Archie McPhee optimistically described as “stylish.” (You can see my list of ACTUAL stylish librarians onscreen here and here.) The deluxe set included a rolling cart, stacks of books, and a computer. Bless. ♥

And this past year, Archie McPhee released — by popular demand — a superhero version of the librarian action figure! As the company describes it:

“She has a removable cape and a deep understanding of how knowledge is organized. Celebrate an everyday hero!”

INDEED.

I love the call-out to action on the front of the librarian action figure:

“When an age of darkness comes, a hero must rise!”

Librarian action figure logo and action call-out
Librarian action figure logo and action call-out

And they included an inspiring “librarian code” on the back of the packaging:

Librarian action figure and librarian code
Librarian action figure and librarian code

I love that the librarian code encapsulates more than a love of books — that it’s also about access to information, experiencing empathy, connecting with people, and checking facts, in addition to organizing the world. ♥ Action verbs befitting a real-life action hero.

Excuse me, I now have to find my own librarian superhero cape… 😉


Sources used:


‘Reel Librarians’ gets cited!

I’m honestly not sure how my “Hall of Shame” page helped the production, but it’s exciting to be cited!

And I mean “cited” in a good way! 🙂 My “Hall of Shame” page has been cited on the Matthew Wilson: Big Screen Project website. The site outlines a film project for Quiet Please, described as “a short mockumentary … following the life of a librarian who aspires to become a serial killer.” As you do. 😉

Screenshot of citation
Reel Librarians gets cited!

I am included on the site’s Research Dossier, as well as in the research presentation’s bibliography, which is linked off the dossier page. I have watched the 11-minute short film, which is available to watch here in this post. I’m honestly not sure how my “Hall of Shame” page helped the production, but it’s exciting to be cited!

And if you can’t get enough of reel librarian serial killers, then check out my post about “Killer librarians” as well as my “Little miss serial killer librarian” post.

I will be back next time with a new reader poll, so please check back next week to cast your vote for what film I should watch next!


Sources used:


  • Wilson, Matthew. “Research Dossier.” Matthew Wilson: Big Screen Project, 2 May 2016.

Ssshhh gets real on ‘Project : Library’ web series

More than one book sacrificed itself to the making of this web series.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had presented a conference program on reel librarians — and one of the best things about the program were the titles and suggestions audience members have sent my way since. One suggestion — and one new to me! — I recently watched was a 2013 British web series called “Project : Library,” a four-part action/comedy web series.

PROJECT: LIBRARY | Trailer | TimH” video uploaded by TimH Films is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

The plot is pretty simple:  Battersham Library is set to close in 3 weeks and is in serious need of funds. During inventory, two library workers realize there’s a book that’s been checked out since 1989, and the boy who checked it out, Michael Foster, is now 25… and owes the library 1 million pounds!

As the web series tagline says:  “Ssshhh get real” — and FAST.

The manager of Battersham Library, Troy Bennet, is a blowhard who throws his own grandson out of the library and cares more about money than about books. And in a cast of Brits, he stands out by having an American accent. (OF COURSE.) This character, hilariously described to me as an “evil librarian mafioso,” chomps every bit of scenery he can while spouting lines like “I’m gonna send the boys ’round.”

There are 4 episodes total, with each episode running 10-20 minutes apiece. As shown in the trailer, the series does get progressively and over-the-top violent, featuring bullets and blood. Also, more than one book sacrificed itself to the making of this web series. (R.I.P. books, R.I.P.)

But above all, this series is HILARIOUS, and I highly recommend taking an hour out of your day to watch through the episodes. It is very well directed and acted, with high production values. The series was co-created by TimH and Mike Cannon, and TimH is also credited as one of the writers, directors, and stars of the series.

Morals of the story?

  • Properly fund your libraries.
  • Return your books on time.
  • And get some wi-fi in your libraries.

Below are the “Project : Library” episodes, as well as my favorite quotes from each episode. Enjoy!


Episode 1, OVERDUE:


PROJECT: LIBRARY | Episode 1 | Overdue” video by TimH Films is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

Favorite quote:

If this library closes, then that’s my sex life out the window.


Episode 2, DINOSAUR:


PROJECT: LIBRARY | Episode 2 | Dinosaur” video by TimH Films is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

Favorite quote:

I’m not a cop. I’m a librarian.


Episode 3, COLLATERAL:


PROJECT: LIBRARY | Episode 3 | Collateral Damage” video by TimH Films is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

Favorite quotes:

Michael’s friend Jason:  You don’t know who’s working for the library. It could be anyone!
Michael:  You saying ANYONE could be a librarian?
Jason:  Maybe. For all you know, I could be a librarian.


Episode 4, THE FINAL CHAPTER:


“PROJECT: LIBRARY | Episode 4 | The Final Chapter” video by TimH Films is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

Favorite quotes:

Jason:  Sticks and stones may break my bones…
Michael:  …but words will never hurt me.
Jason:  [using a thick dictionary to knock a guy out] Bull. Shit.

Welcome to MY library. Your visit here is OVERDUE.

Nobody does romance like librarians. I’m serious. We’re famous for it. Librarians are S-E-X-Y. Don’t laugh. We’ve written the book about it. Well, at least date-stamped it.


Can’t get enough of “Project : Library”? Then check out the Tumblr site for the project, which includes behind-the-scenes info about the series and archives of posts and photos. And last but not least, an outtakes video!

PROJECT: LIBRARY Outtakes” video by TimH Films is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

Sources used:


Browsing the Paramount Vault YouTube channel

Is The Paramount Vault on your list to check out?

At the end of 2015, my husband alerted me, via Facebook, to the Paramount Vault YouTube channel:

Screenshot of Paramount Vault Facebook feed
Screenshot of Paramount Vault Facebook feed

The official description states that the project “showcases a collection of Paramount full-length films and clips including selections that range from black-and-white to color, comedy to horror, and everything in between. Viewers are invited to explore the vast landscape of cinema’s history, share their favorite films, and discover new ones through this official channel created by Paramount Pictures.”

That’s right, Paramount is uploading select full-length films and short clips to “The Paramount Vault” YouTube channel. At the start of 2016, there were 175 films available for viewing. (One caveat: it appears you can only watch them in the United States.)

Paramount Vault YouTube header
Paramount Vault YouTube header

So OF COURSE I set about browsing through the list for any reel librarian titles, and I have discovered at least two titles that I can now watch online, including:


A Girl Named Tamiko (1962):


I am VERY excited about finally being able to see this film. I had written about A Girl Named Tamiko back in Sept. 2012, in my “Have you seen this movie?” post, highlighting films I hadn’t yet been able to track down copies of.

Movie poster for A Girl Named Tamiko in The Paramount Vault
Movie poster for A Girl Named Tamiko in The Paramount Vault

The title character of Tamiko (played by France Nuyen), who is from a wealthy Japanese family, works as a librarian for the Foreign Press Club in Tokyo. Apparently, her occupation is not that important to the film, but there are a couple of scenes set in the Foreign Press Club library.

It’s based on a book of the same name by Ronald Kirkbride. A used copy of the book is available from Amazon.com, but the DVD was out-of-print.


Ironweed (1987):


In 1938, a homeless drifter (Jack Nicholson) returns to his home town and meets a ex-radio singer (Meryl Streep) who is sick and homeless. Both Nicholson and Streep were nominated, for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively, for Ironweed. It is based on a novel by William Kennedy, who also wrote the screenplay.

Movie poster for Ironweed
Movie poster for Ironweed in The Paramount Vault

In one scene, Streep tries to sleep in the library and then gets into an argument with a woman who recognizes her. The librarian, played by Bethel Leslie, shushes her and then ejects her from the library.

I saw this film years ago, and I did take notes about the short library scene at the time. However, I haven’t revisited the film yet for this blog — but that will be forthcoming! 😀


There are many more feature-length films available on The Paramount Vault YouTube channel besides reel librarian films, and I hope Paramount keeps adding new films to the channel. Is The Paramount Vault on your list to check out? Please leave a comment and let me know!


Sources used:


  • A Girl Named Tamiko. Dir.John Sturges. Perf. Laurence Harvey, France Nuyen, Martha Hyer. Wallis-Hazen, 1962.
  • Ironweed. Dir. Hector Bobenco. Perf. Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker, Fred Gwynne, Tom Waits. TriStar, 1987.

‘Ghostbusters’ remake trailer + potential librarian ghost sighting

Let’s compare the library ghosts from the original film and from the remake trailer

A couple of people, including my husband, have recently alerted me to the trailer for the new Ghostbusters remake (the one with an all-female cast, headlined by Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, set to release on July 15, 2016). Why are people alerting me to it? Because of what appears to be a library scene featured in the trailer.

Facebook message about new Ghostbusters trailer
Facebook message about new Ghostbusters trailer

Here’s a link to that trailer:

GHOSTBUSTERS – Official Trailer (HD)” video uploaded by Sony Pictures Entertainment is licensed under a Standard YouTube license.

The Ghostbusters 1984 original starts out with a memorable opening scene in the New York Public Library. I analyzed this opening scene in an earlier post entitled ‘Who you gonna call?‘, back in fall 2012.

Let’s compare the library ghosts from the original film and from the remake trailer:


1984 original:


Library ghost collage from Ghostbusters (1984)
Library ghost collage from Ghostbusters (1984)

2016 remake:


Library ghost collage from Ghostbusters remake trailer (2016)
Library ghost collage from Ghostbusters remake trailer (2016)

If that is indeed a library scene and librarian ghost, I am intrigued by the updates. Definitely a younger, sexier version of the ghost!

I can’t wait to see the new, all-female version of Ghostbusters — are you planning on seeing it, too, when it hits the theaters this summer? Please leave a comment and share. 🙂


Sources used:


  • Ghostbusters. Dir. Ivan Reitman. Perf. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis. Columbia, 1984.