In which I ponder librarianship in the wizarding world – Part 1.

On Saturday night, when I wasn’t feeling well, I spent far too much time lying under a quilt, moaning piteously, and watching a Harry Potter movie marathon on ABC Family. However, this did not stop me from thinking profound librarian-ish thoughts that surely no one’s ever thought before.

These questions may have little practical value in the Muggle real world. But they did lend a bit of context to what I’m learning in my classes, and they certainly helped me feel better.

Duke Humfrey’s Library at the Bodleian in Oxford was used as the Hogwarts Library in several of the films. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

14 thoughts on “In which I ponder librarianship in the wizarding world – Part 1.

  1. Cassandra October 19, 2015 / 5:11 pm

    Would working in the Hogwarts’ library not be a dream? What an amazing job that would be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Library Heather October 19, 2015 / 5:25 pm

      It would! And I’d certainly do a better job than Madam Pince. She’s the worst librarian ever. Nothing like the librarians I know.


  2. remreader October 19, 2015 / 5:31 pm

    You’re definitely right about Madam Pince being an old school librarian…I vividly remember the scene where she chased Harry & Ginny out of the library, making their belongings hit them as they left, just for eating chocolate in the library! Doesn’t exactly scream welcoming community space, does it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Library Heather October 19, 2015 / 5:44 pm

      No, it doesn’t. But I’ve discovered the best advocate of new librarianship at Hogwarts and Part 2 of this post will be all about them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • remreader October 19, 2015 / 7:17 pm

        Ooh, I’m looking forward to it!


  3. janice October 19, 2015 / 11:54 pm

    Ponderings I’ve never pondered about before. I like! Usually, it’s the food in books that I ponder about… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mother October 21, 2015 / 11:30 pm

    Honestly, what I ponder is how I can amass a library like that. If you were to plop me in the middle of the library at Hogwarts, no one would see me for days, if not *months.* Books are magic and magic books are… magic-er.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jen October 22, 2015 / 9:44 am

    But Hogwarts does have a restricted section in the library, doesn’t it? Only those students studying for their NEWT exams have access to it without permission from their teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Library Heather October 25, 2015 / 2:14 pm

      Yes it does. My question is whether those books should be restricted. Many librarians, including myself, don’t believe in censorship or unnecessary restriction of information resources.


  6. Gina W. October 25, 2015 / 7:34 pm

    Regarding the restricted area, I wonder if they had something like the “Stacks” when I was in grad school. Only grad students could get into the multi-floored complex with all the rarest books. There were all sorts of isolated nooks and crannies and I feel pretty positive that there was some discreet lovin’ that took place there. Maybe some of the older students at Hogwarts might have used the restricted area of the library for similar activities. Just a thought…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jen October 25, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    I first wrote a great, long, tedious dissertation about the pros and cons about censorship and restrictions but then I thought “Would I really want Crabbe and Goyle to have unrestricted access to those books?”. And the simple answer was no, no I would not.

    But then again, I don’t want censorship or restrictions on what I can read. So I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe books could be programmed with a ‘You are worthy’ code and refuse to open if you are found lacking? And blow a raspberry at you for good measure.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Christopher October 26, 2015 / 11:46 am

    In the first film the restricted section seemed like the most incredibly disorganized place with the books, based on Harry’s muttering, organized alphabetically by title. “Famous fire eaters, Fifteenth century fiends…” And then he pulls out one that impersonates a disturbing sequence from Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
    And let’s not get started on The Monster Book of Monsters and the book about invisibility that was completely invisible.
    Of course changes in technology are beginning to make being a muggle librarian just as bizarre and frustrating as being a wizard librarian must be.

    Liked by 1 person

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