Thursday, August 10, 2006

A BookDragon Quest: 100 Librarians in Children's/YA Literature

The quest? A search for 100 librarians from Children's and YA literature. In my reading from the last few years, I've noted that a lot of books include reference to their characters' librarians--and how that librarian made a difference (be it good or bad). I will qualify that "great" doesn't necessarily mean "good"--as an example, Madame Pince, the Hogwarts librarian? She is downright scary! That said, she embodies enough of the stereotypical "mean librarian" qualities to make her a great character. So, I invite you to join me in finding those librarians in literature. Post a comment when you find one (or several) and we'll add our list to the collection of lists that are making my "to read" pile get entirely too big.

Please note that I am SO totally swiping this idea from Franki Sibberson and Mary Lee Hahn from their blog "A Year of Reading: Two Teachers Chat about Books and Reading."

You can find them at

Take a look at their list of 100 "cool" teachers in children's literature. Thank you Franki and Mary Lee for a wonderful blog!


  1. The Library Lady from Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora.

  2. Ms. Cloud is the amazing librarian in Tony Johnston's Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio.

  3. Good luck with the librarians! I'll have to scan my shelves to jump start my brain for your list!

  4. There are lots of great librarians. The librarian in Because of Winn Dixie is a pretty major character. I believe that her name is Miss Fanny (or Franny?). I think that the librarian in Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng played a part, too, but I don't remember that as well. And although a minor role, the librarian in Matilda by Roald Dahl gave Matilda her first library card, and started her on the road to knowledge. Also, visitors to my site (where I briefly mentioned cool librarians, in context of some lists that I was keeping), mentioned the Library Lady in All of a Kind Family (suggested by Becky from Farm School) and Ms. Kaye in the upcoming Wide Awake by David Levithan (suggested by Little Willow).

  5. Kathy/WA9:40 PM

    I read a book to my kindergarteners in our first library sessions called "What Happened to Marion's Library Book" It has a wonderful school librarian who is so kind to Marion when she returns her book after trying to clean off a jam stain. I forget the librarian's name. The author's last name is Berg.

  6. Anonymous5:26 PM

    Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck

  7. Anonymous8:58 PM

    There is a great librarian in Edward Eager's book Seven Day Magic. All of his books mention libraries and kind librarians.

  8. The librarian in MATILDA is Mrs. Phelps. I second her.

    There's also Sister Pete in THE LOUD SILENCE OF FRANCINE GREEN by Karen Cushman. She's a nice, calm, reasonable foil for the evil Sister Basil.

    More later, when I can get into my classroom and scan the shelves!

  9. How about the librarian in Richard Wright and the Library Card?

  10. For some reason my memory for librarians in chapter books is "out-to-lunch" today with the exception of already mentioned book by Spinelli and Peck, but I do remember several picture books.
    Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
    Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
    Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
    Wild About Books by Judy Sierra
    Red Light, Green Light, Mama and Me by Cari Best
    The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter
    The Librarian From The Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
    Stella Louella's Runaway Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst
    The Shelf Elf With Library Lessons by Jackie Hopkins
    What Happened to Marion's Book? by Brook Berg
    Mr. Wiggle's Library by Carol L. Thompson
    I.Q. Goes to the Library by Mary Ann Fraser
    I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric A. Kimmel
    The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy

  11. Thank you PJ! I'm now debating whether I should combine my book care/library etiquette list with the librarian list or leave them separate.

  12. MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN by John Craighead George (1959). Librarian is Miss Turner (important character).

    SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS by Wilson Rawls (1976) (minor character).