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Library Anxiety: Librarians: why are they so scary?

Library anxiety is a real phenomenon that can hurt your ability to complete your coursework and do library research. This guide talks about what library anxiety is and about some ways to overcome it.

Librarians are.....

Would you want to ask Madame Pince, the librarian at Hogwarts, a reference question?

Madame Pince, Hogwarts Librarian

Librarians in the media often appear as strict, stern, humorless figures who guard the information in libraries. We are so used to seeing librarians portrayed this way that, unless you are a librarian, you are unlikely to even blink when you see the next on-screen appearance of a scary librarian.

We, librarians, like to think that you know that we are deeply committed to helping you find the information you need, that we truly want to help you locate and get your hands on information instead of guarding information like scary dragons. But you couldn't be blamed for thinking otherwise.

Considering the increasing importance of being able to navigate an ever-expanding sea of information to find the information you, specifically, need, these portrayals of librarians do a real disservice. While, sadly, some people have encountered unfriendly librarians in real life, librarians are just people, like you, with special training in locating and accessing information. And most of us are quite friendly and helpful. Really!

Bad librarians

You should never encounter this kind of librarian at the Harper College Library

Also, even though you've probably figured this out already, Parker Posey doesn't work in our library either.

"She's an old maid. She never married...She's just about to close up the library!"

More on librarian stereotypes