When you picture a librarian, chances are you’re imagining a middle-aged/elderly lady with glasses attached to her neck-chain, shushing you at the slightest noise. This is a stereotype for sure, albeit one that is definitely grounded in reality from my personal experiences.
Sometimes, however, people surprise you. The fact that these 7 people used to be librarians? Mind-blowing.
#1. Lewis Carroll
Carroll worked as sub-librarian at Oxford University, where he also tutored students and lectured in (surprisingly) mathematics.
Before he was known as the world’s greatest lover, Casanova was just the local librarian in Dux, Bohemia. He catalogued books for Count Waldstein for 13 years and went through more than 40,000 volumes while cleaning the library and writing his famous Memoirs (probably on the clock).
#3. Mao Zedong
The leader of China’s Communist Party once worked at Peking University as a librarian’s assistant – he earned a whopping $8 a month carrying periodicals and organizing shelves.
#4. Beverly Cleary
Maybe this one isn’t much of a surprise, but the Newberry Medal-winning author was also a children’s librarian in Yakima, WA.
A “grown-up” version of Batgirl appeared in 1967’s Detective Comics, in which Barbara Gordon was the grown daughter of the police commissioner and worked as a librarian.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe worked at the Weimar Library, and he clearly enjoyed the organizational work – other branches even reached out asking for his help getting their own stacks in order.
#7. J. Edgar Hoover
The country’s most infamous FBI director started at the Library of Congress, attending night school at George Washington Law. While there, he mastered the Dewey Decimal System and used that organizational knowledge when he transferred his skills to the FBI.