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Who Would Want to Kill a Librarian?

From "The Collectors" by David Baldacci:

The Collectors by David Baldacci"So you think someone killed him? Who could possibly have a problem with Jonathan? He was a librarian."

"It's not like librarians don't have enemies," Caleb said defensively. "Indeed, I've been around some colleagues who can get pretty mean-spirited after they've had a few glasses of merlot."

She looked at him incredulously. "Yeah, I bet. But no one's going to pop someone because they got fined for an overdue book" (hardbound, p. 197).
It's not the greatest book in the world, but Baldacci's novel reminded me that while I've written about the image of librarians in movies, I haven't done the same for librarians in novels. Let me do something about that now.

If you want a brief overview of what's available, there are "Cool Librarians," which includes the protagonists in two Harlequin romances among the four books it recommends, along with the other fictional and real librarians it features; and "Spectacles - How Pop Culture Views Librarians," which lists four series with librarians as "detectives" among the books it covers in a review of the librarian's image in movies, music, TV, books and comics.

Then there's BiblioMystery, which provides the titles of mysteries in which "books, manuscripts, libraries of any kind, archives, publishing houses, or bookstores occupy a central role, or mysteries in which librarians, archivists, booksellers, etc. are protagonists or antagonists." Its companion site on LibraryThing allows browsers to read reviews, search for specific titles, and look at book covers. Finally, if you're the academic type, there's "Librarians in Fiction: A Discussion" by Christopher Brown-Syed and Charles Barnard Sands, an article that "explores portrayals of librarians in selected works of fiction, notably those involving mystery or detection."

Unfortunately, no similar listings seem to be available online—and most likely, even in print—for librarians in Filipino literature. If you know of any such books, leave a comment below, and maybe we can make our own list.

Just in case you're wondering whether the title of this post has any basis in reality, see "Seattle School Librarian Murdered" by Laura B. Weiss (School Library Journal, 8/3 Aug 2006).

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