Libraries in pop culture: some examples from Poland

Our wonderful Poland Ambassador, Magdalena Gomułka, has shared with us some examples of librarians appearing in pop culture in Poland. Thanks Magda!

Many of us may think that a Polish culture do not show librarians in a good light according to stereotypes a typical librarian is an older woman with a grey hair which always are in a bun. She wears old-fashion clothes and a big glasses on her nose which are an identification of library staff as well. Additionally she is portrayed as fussy, timid, poor, and respectable person. People might think that working in a library relies on an imposing a silent and a reshelving the books because librarians are obsessive focused on an order. You can see an example of this type of librarian in the film Siekierezada

Although a popular culture uses this social pattern very often, there are quite a few more positive illustrations of our profession. To prove it I have prepared few examples of characters who were librarians below.

In films the librarians have a secret wisdom therefore they help policemen and detectives to find out a riddle. In a good side a collection of various books lets librarians to develop their skills and knowledge, e.g. about ghost and demons (Medium, directed by Jacek Kasprowicz in 1985) or  rare books and journals (Skarb trzech łotrów, directed by Jan Rutkiewicz in 1972).  

On the other hand a library is a place where a secret door is located and a main character drift into an unknown kingdom. In the film Kingsajza famous comedy by Juliusz Machulski (1988) – the houses of dwarves were built in card catalogues. Unfortunately they didn’t look after books only an elixir of growing.

A library could be also a place where somebody commit a crime. In one episode of serial Ojciec Mateusz (2010) the priest-detective was searching who murdered a librarian. Additionally the viewers could seen how the documents were scan and how a reading room at a university was looked as well.

Librarians try to change stereotype of an old and stuffy librarian and organize a campaign of changing our opinion. Examples can be projects from the Public Library in Morag and the Public Library in Oświęcim. Librarians prepares photos where they were characters from movies and books. I am sure they are exciting!

Library is a woman

Making of a photo shoot: Librarian – glamour job:

Thanks for these great examples Magda!

Posted in Discussion topics, Round 2015A and tagged , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *