If your books are overdue, Conan the Librarian will crush you.
Unsuspecting students will enter the library, in order to talk to friends, goof off, and (possibly) study. However, these kids will soon fall victim to... the Scary Librarian.
The Scary Librarian will freak out
if you talk in the library, fail to return a book on time, or, God forbid, spill something on it. She (it's almost always a she
) will shush you at the slightest noise, and occasionally will start screaming. Needless to say, if you make her mad, don't expect any help with your research paper.
The Scary Librarian will, of course, move without making noise herself, and can appear from nowhere
if you're up to trouble.
Compare Sadist Teacher
, Badass Bookworm
. Contrast Hot Librarian
. See also Spooky Silent Library
- Madame Pince, from the Harry Potter books. Being a witch, she doesn't even need to be in the same room as you - start drawing in the margins and the book will come alive and attack you. J.K. Rowling once said in an interview that the Hogwarts library had to have one of these since a nice, helpful librarian would resolve plots too quickly. She also apologized to all librarians for this portrayal.
- Jacob Two Two has ninja librarians. They're very personable, but will hunt you down if you have overdue books.
- While generally friendly unless called a monkey, the Librarian of Unseen University in Discworld is a human wizard transformed into an orangutan (still a wizard by courtesy), who is noted to be very successful at his job, as a single display of his fangs ensures that books will be returned on time (and woe betide the student who returns them in damaged condition!)
- Being able to sort and stack books with his feet doesn't exactly hurt.
- And most of the deadly tomes tend to only attack humans, leaving Orangutans alone.
- According to the Unseen University Diary, if you damage a book, you should immediately inform the Dean, who will arrange for you to be smuggled out of the building to start a new life under an assumed name on the other side of the continent. The Librarian isn't terribly keen on people reading books; he thinks they belong on shelves, and reading them wears out the words.
- "The Library Policeman", from Stephen King's Four Past Midnight.
- Philip K. Dick's Counter-Clock World has a really scary librarian, in a future where libraries don't store books, but destroy them.
- Steven Piziks wrote two stories ("Hoard" and "A Quiet Knight's Reading") about a librarian who's actually a shapeshifted dragon (the books were originally her hoard). Thieves can expect to be eaten.
- In the Old Kingdom series, the Librarians of the Clayr protect several examples of Sealed Evil in a Can, which they defend with swords. The head librarian's sword was called Binder.
- Jorge of Burgos in The Name of the Rose, although not the official librarian, defends the Library with rather odd methods...
- Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians - Exactly What It Says on the Tin
- One of the Goosebumps books had a librarian who was a literal monster. Although, since it is revealed in the twist ending that everyone is a monster, and the librarian gets eaten by the main character's parents, this might be an inversion.
- The children's book The Librarian From The Black Lagoon, which is part of a series. The kids think she's scary and does horrifying things, but in the end, it's subverted, when she's actually nice. All the books are that way.
- In a Gene Wolfe story, a student who has stolen a great many books finds that the librarian has taken possession of his home. And the library is now closed until Monday morning.
- In the seventh Captain Underpants book, the librarian is a cranky Moral Guardian who has banned almost all the books in the library, leaving only one book that can be read. The library itself has posters warning about the dangers of reading.
- Ms. Hushbaum, better known as the Loud Librarian, from All That. As a comedy figure, she's not really scary, but her idea of enforcing the rules in her library, which is to scream at the top of her lungs, can startle first-time viewers.
- The episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? called "The Tale of the Quiet Librarian." Need I say more?
- Mr. Bookman, the library cop from Seinfeld, who treats Jerry like a murder suspect for having a book a couple of decades overdue.
- In an episode of 3rd Rock From The Sun, Pendleton University turned out to have one of these, played by Christine Baranski. She turned out also to be a Hot Librarian.
- Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide has a crazy librarian. If students claimed they returned books but they aren't in the slots, she screeches "Not ACCORDI-ON to me!" While playing the accordion awfully.
- Done to the extreme on Parks and Recreation where the Pawnee library department is considered by the Parks and Rec department to be actually EVIL. From the Ron and Tammy episode:
Leslie Knope: Pawnee's library department is the most diabolical, ruthless bunch of bureaucrats I've ever seen. They're like a biker gang. Only instead of shotguns and crystal meth, they use political savvy and shushing.
- The aformentioned Conan the Librarian also appears in an episode of Reading Rainbow.
- Series two of Psychoville introduces Jeremy, a librarian who becomes obsessed with recovering a book that a woman has failed to return on time. He resorts to stalking her, calling her at all hours, breaking into her house and threatening her young daughter - all with the aid of, or possibly under threat from, a hallucination of a horrifying creature called "Silent Singer"
- Dead Ringers had a parody of Hell's Kitchen called "Hell's Library", with Simon Schama as a foul-mouthed, overbearing and violent librarian putting trainees through their paces.
- Pee-Wee Herman once got to role-play as one of these in a later episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus invoked this trope in a sketch where a gorilla who is really a man in a gorilla suit is brought to a job interview for the position of chief librarian. The library executives are oddly excited by the idea of having a wild beast for a librarian.
"I love seeing the customers come in to complain about some book being damaged and ask to see the chief librarian, and then, you should see their faces when the proud beast leaps from his tiny office, snatches the book from their hands and sinks his fangs into their soft...*beat
- Tammy 2, the Head of the Library Department from Parks and Recreation, combines this with Hot Librarian. She's good looking (played by Megan Mullaly) but completely psycho. She was married to Ron Swanson—and turned him into a sex freak. She also stalked him for a time. And she is not averse to using the library as a tool of power (e.g. falsely placing embarrassing books on her enemies' checkout records).
- Mentioned once in Bloom County... bearing an axe about the size of Milo.
- Actually a bit of a Running Gag: Blinky's Anxiety Closet occasionally reveals he still hadn't returned that overdue copy of Green Eggs and Ham... with the Ax Crazy librarian showing up to note how many days overdue it is. Every revisit (into the Outland and Opus sequels) has the day count go up.
- A 1970-era Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comic had Fat Freddy rushing off to the university to join in student revolution - which for him meant liberating 'f**k books' from the library. He encounters a seriously Scary Librarian who sends him running off in full-tilt terror.
- In Calvin And Hobbes, Calvin was once horrified at the thought of having not returned a library book on time, expecting the librarians to break his knees or something. After learning that he would simply receive a small fine, he noted to himself that he naturally expected the consequences to be more severe simply from the looks the librarians give him.
- In Happy Tree Friends, Flippy works as a librarian in the episode Random Acts of Silence. Said episode just happens to be the first (and so far, only) one where more than one character are afraid of him before he snaps.
- The librarians and other staff of The Wanderers Library are humans who ran afoul of the Library's rules and so were transformed into monstrous forms and forced to work in the Library until the end of their sentence.
- In the Whateley Universe, the WhateleyAcademy head librarian Miss Henderson is tough enough to keep superpowered mutant students in line, but the really scary part is one of her student assistants: Person of Mass Destruction Tennyo, who most students will run from.
- Mrs. Hatchett, from the Kim Possible episode "Overdue".
- The librarian replaced by Miss Osborne in The Replacements episode "Quiet Riot".
- Miss Dickens from the Carl Squared episode "Carl's Techno-Jinx". She crash tackles and handcuffs offenders, puts Carl's library card through a blender and drinks it, and C2 is convinced that she put a curse on him.
- Libro Shushman from Teamo Supremo, who becomes a fully-fledged supervillain.
- Moral Orel 's school librarian is a scary old woman whose hobbies include burning books and picketing in front of a cinema.
- The librarian in Arthur, Miss Turner, is a repeat victim of this stereotype to judge by the Imagine Spots she appears in. "Next time, don't make me use the crank!"
- Wan Shi Tong, the knowledge spirit from the Avatar The Last Airbender episode "The Library."
- Kick Buttowski once had to deal with a crazy librarian who insisted that every thing that went inside her library (book or not) is hers. He has to break into the library to get a book of his that was accidentally returned.
- Professor Peter (of The Peter Principle fame) mentioned one librarian who loved her neatly ordered books so much that she spent most of her time preventing the students from reading them. So, Truth in Television.