Home > books, humor > Supporting cast: Lady Librarian!

Supporting cast: Lady Librarian!

Have you ever seen the old Perry Mason series? The original black and white episodes with Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, and William Hopper?  I was home with a broken limb over the holidays, started watching and quickly was addicted.  Since then I have DVR’d the episodes to watch as I work out in the morning.  Older shows are perfect for the morning work out since they lasted longer – episodes were 49 to 52 minutes each, leaving only 8 to 11 minutes for commercials (new shows today last only 40 to 46 minutes for the hour slot). Besides, it is rather fun to spot-the-future-star (Burt Reynolds, Barbara Eden, James Coburn)!

Anyway, back to Perry! The episode was The Case of the Bogus Books from September 27, 1962. That’s nearly 50 years ago.

The plot centered around, of course, a murder. Who was murdered? A nefarious book seller! Why nefarious? He had a successful venture stealing rare first editions from libraries and resell them!  Just listening and watching the “Lady Librarian” (honest, that was how she was billed in the credits) and the Curator (not billed as “Male Curator” but just “Curator”) was both illuminating and strangely familiar.  They discovered several libraries were missing the rare first editions of books – replaced by “worthless” third and fourth editions.  Turns out the … oh wait, you probably want to watch it. I ought not ruin it for you.

I do love it when I find my profession in old movies, books, TV shows, etc. I like seeing how each generation viewed us. How the authors twist and turn our profession! Seeing this makes me think, did the stereotype come from popular culture or did popular culture reflect reality of the time? Regardless, it is rather nice to be thought of as very smart, very organized, and often, very sexy (I could live without the shhh thing though).

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Categories: books, humor Tags: , ,
  1. April 21, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Pull out that bun, Carol, and let your hair flow free! You’re in the 21st century now!

    I’m actually supposed to be writing a paper on Boethius, but I saw the title of this post on my Google start page. My main comment: I think back to how often librarians and libraries were stereotyped in my own life (by people close to me who worked closely with librarians), and I’m always surprised to A) learn that I’m looking at a career within the academic library field, and B) that librarians are really some of the most technologically forward-thinking folks I know. (Depending, of course, on the person, but really…for most of the ones I associate with, this is an accurate description.) I think some of the most exciting Web communication theory is emerging from library science right now.

  1. September 22, 2011 at 9:53 am

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