(?) Training and Development v.100(1) Jan/Feb. 1993, pg. 43.
A bull asks for books about the "Bull Market".
Female librarian hands books on auto repair to the male driver of the
bookmobile trying to fix the van. This appeared in a book of auto comic
strips (possibly Bill Stott's Crazy World of Learning to Drive
(Watford, UK: Exley, 1993).
(?) [editorial cartoon] University of Western Ontario Gazette Oct.
29,1996, pg. 4.
Shows patron literally surfing the information highway at the D.B. WeldonLibrary.
"Television addicts ridiculing little kids because they like to read."
Addis, Don. Bent Offerings Dec. 31, 1996.
"Librarian New Year's Celebrations" shows a bespectacled female librarian
blowing a noisemaker that emits a "shhh" sound.
(?) [n] Baby Blues reprinted in I Thought Labor Ended When the
Wanda is paranoid that Daryl's mother will be overly critical during hervisit,
sarcastically saying that she alphabetizes the refrigerator. Daryl says
that actually she only does that to frozen food - everything else is organized
Barnes, Bill and Gene Ambaum. Overdue, http://www.barnacle.org/overdue/,
(online comic strip since Feb. 16, 2002).
A great-looking, funny comic strip which takes place in a library setting.
Gene Ambaum (pseudonym) actually works in a library!
Batiuk, Tom. Funky Winkerbean Jan. 14, 19??
"Ever since Bull became a library aide, the collection of overdue fineshas
--------. Funky Winkerbean Jan. 31, 19??
"There's more than one instance of a credit rating being destroyed by
anold overdue [high school] library fine."
--------. Funky Winkerbean Dec. 2, 19??
The bandleader defends his suggestion to donate library books to theband's
paper drive ("Nobody reads most of that junk anyway").
--------. Funky Winkerbean Dec. 2, 19??
The first panel shows the entrance to the media center, with an "X"
through the former name 'library'. "In the media center students want
to learn. Bruno [looks like Frankenstein monster] makes them want
--------. Funky Winkerbean Sep. 5, 1987.
"The resource center is so named because you have to be as resourceful
as you can be in order to get a pass from study hall so you can go there
and spend the period with your significant other."
--------. Funky Winkerbean May 30, 1989.
At convocation, media specialist (Miss Bookbinder) promises the graduating
class that "noone gets out of the building alive" until every outstanding
library fine has been paid in full.
Bittle, Jerry Geech June 19, 1986.
Geech returns a 16-yr. overdue book he was going to use for a book report
(which is also overdue).
Black, Cryler. Swan Factory July 6, 1996.
"The pickiest librarian I've ever seen" scolds a patron for dressing too
"loudly" (neon yellow t-shirt and pink, purple and orange spandex).
(?) Boner's Ark May 13, 1987.
A man trying to collect 14 cents on "Mutiny on the Bounty" is treated
predictably by the crew.
--------. Boner's Ark Oct. 29, 1988.
The librarian reccomends "Sun and Fun on an Ark" brochure, when asked
for good fiction.
(?) Born Loser June 28, 1983.
The geneaology dept. of the public library calls Thornapple to relate
the discovery about his late grandfather to him - that he had accrued
fines of $1,123.39 (which Thornapple was now responsible for).
--------.. Born Loser (1987)
Through thought balloons, shows what three distinct patrons are reading.
Breathed, Berke. Bloom County (?)
Opus, eager to become well read, goes to the public library (telling his
intentions in rhyming couplets along the way). Once he sees just how vast
the modest collection is, though, he is overwhelmed and gives up (going
back to watching Gilligan's Island reruns). Interesting to note
that this strip preceded the "information superhighway".
--------. Bloom County (?) (Reprinted in _Bloom County Babylon:
Five Years of Basic Naughtiness_ (Little Brown: Boston, 1986), pg. 67.
In another of Breathed's "anxiety closet" jokes, Binkley faces Mrs. McGreevy
- a stereotypical-looking librarian (except for the bloody double-headed
axe she wields).
--------. Bloom County (?) (Reprinted in Bloom County Babylon:
Five Years of Basic Naughtiness), pg. 169).
Opus goes to the library on a journey of self-discovery during his bout
--------. Bloom County (?) (Reprinted in Classics of Western
Bloom County 1986-1989 Boston: Little Brown, 1990), pg. 221.
Opus, frustrated from the difficulty of operating the VCR, gives it up
and enjoys the simpler pleasure of reading instead.
--------. Bloom County (?) (Reprinted in Tales Too Ticklish
To Tell Boston: Litte Brown, 1988), pg. 57.
Woman helps Opus find a book "that will lay it all out for a fellow just
what exactly men and women expect of each other these days." After some
wrong guesses, she finds the right book for him ("Tighter Buns in 30 days").
--------. Bloom County (?) (Reprinted in Toons for Our Times
Boston: Little Brown, 1984), pg. 25.
Someone turns Binkley's lost schoolbag in to radio station KRNA, where
Rockin' Charmin' Harmon announces that he has an overdue library book
called "Bed Wetting: Beat It Through Self-Hypnosis".
--------. Bloom County Jul. 17, 1987 (Reprinted in Tales Too
Ticklish To Tell), pg. 29.
During the Oral Bill / "penguin lust" storyline, Opus is gettingpersecuted
"from all sides". He next receives a brick from the library (thrown through
the window) with a message attached telling him they've revoked his library
-------. POLITICALLY, FASHIONABLY AND AERODYNAMICALLY INCORRECT, 1992.
Ronald Ann and Mortimer Mouse watch as paratroopers descend upon Outland.
They've got "bazookers" and are looking for a "big nosed pengie". Apparently
Opus is wanted for damaging government property. He got HORTON HEARS A
WHO wet while in his bathtub. ( Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
Brookins, Gary. PLUGGERS. June 25, ????. Plugger is looking under
the bed where she finds her house keys, her library card and numerous
dust bunnies. ( Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
Brown, Dik. Hagar Oct. 23, 1996.
Eddie (?) asks Hagar to utter a less extreme threat like "surrender or
have your library card revoked for a year".
(?) Bugs Bunny Aug. 26, 1983.
Bugs takes a carrot off the shelf (in the gardening section) and is shushed
by patrons when he starts chewing on it.
Casler, Kathleen (compiler) A Book of Library Humor (produced by
the Public Relations Committee of the Michigan Association for Media inEducation,
60-pg. collection of popular newspaper comic strip reprints.
(?) Charlie June 15, 1992.
Charlie and another guy chained to a dungeon wall. "Me too. I believed
the library when they offered amnesty to anybody returning overdue books".
Crane, Brian. PICKLES. ???? Man and his wife are sitting on
a couch each reading a book. Both say they are enjoying their selections.
The dog, who is sitting between them, sniffs each book and thinks all
books smell the same to him. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
Detorie, Rick. ONE BIG HAPPY. December 30, ???? Ruthie is asking
the librarian when a book will be back and who borrowed it. She wants
to call the person who has it because she really wants it now. She is
told no, but it is due on the 4th. Ruthie whines that this is years from
now. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
-------.ONE BIG HAPPY. June 5, ???? Ruthie thinks the librarian
looks sad so she starts reading a book in front of her because librarian
like to see kids read. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
------.ONE BIG HAPPY. June 11, ???? Ruthie and Joe are excited
because they are the only kids there for story hour and can sit real close
to the librarian. They feel like they are in the front row at the movies
and comment on how they can see right up her nose. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
Epstein, Morris. "The Seed that Grew" in His Picture Parade of Jewish
History (NY: Shergold, 1963).
1-pg., 12-panel tale of how Solomon Da Costa acquired the 200 books that
became the Jewish book collection of the British Museum Library . Prior
tohis effort, the museum only had one book in its Hebraic section. The
facing page is a 1-pg. text that gives more details.
Gerberg, Mort. [political cartoon] Publisher's Weekly Aug. 8, 1988.
Elderly librarians (one with her hair in a bun) aks to see "Mr.Foreigner"
's library card.
Guindon, R. Guindon's Michigan (?)
Librarian, citing recent book challenges, calls reading "life in the fast
Hammond, Bruce. Duffy (?) reprinted in This Wasn't in the Job
Description (pg. 54).
Naomi looks at all the business-related material she has to read and
comments that her friends say she doesn't read enough.
Hammond, W. Reality Check 1996.
"Mobile Librarians" shows a mobile with library-related stuff on it.
Hamond, W. REALITY CHECK. April 20, 1999. Caption reads "Library
Police". One undercover guy is saying to another that he doesn't like
the feel of the place - it's too quiet. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
Hardin, ????. THE FUNNY TIMES. ???? There's a big burly guy
with a tatoo at a dictionary stand looking through the words that start
with tro. The librarian comments that he's been there all day looking
for trouble. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
Hart, Johnny. BC Apr. 19, 1989.
"Show me a girl who curls up with a good novel every night..." "...and
I'll show you a broad who lives in a bookmobile."
--------. BC Oct. 6, 1989.
A patron retuns a book "all aardvark-eared". An aardvark muses that the
cliche is destined for obscurity.
--------. BC May 25, 1990.
Patron loved the "torrid novel" she checked out so much that her hands
melted the glue in the binding.
--------. BC May 26, 1990.
Patron gets the latest edition of the "Dead Sea Scrolls" (still dripping
--------. BC June 24, 1990.
Patron checks out 3 handyman books, along with "How to Apply a
(?) Herblock [political cartoon] June 7, 1988.
A patron removing a Dostoevsky book from the shelves is caught by an FBI
--------. Herblock July 24, 1988.
Library patron reports a lurker "who is acting kind-of un-American" (an
Hulme, Etta. [political cartoon] 1979.
Satirizes how public libraries allow explosives enthusiasts to use the
collection free of charge.
Johnson, Jimmy. Arlo and Janis Oct. 8, 1985.
Not technically a library joke, but close. Gene's father gets Gene
interested in "Huckleberry Finn" by telling him it's Conan the Barbarian's
favorite (actually it's Conan the Librarian's favorite). Now why didn't
I think of using that tactic myself 8)
Johnston, Lynn. For Better or for Worse (?)
Elly suggests that if the library wants to attract more people to the
library, they could apply for a Bingo license.
--------. For Better or for Worse May 14, 1985.
Children make fun of the shushing school librarian ("short an' fat an'
sounds like an inner tube with a hole in it").
Keane, Bil. Family Circus Apr. 26, 1987.
Billy wanders through the library stacks imagining the characters in the
books as he passes.
--------. Family Circus Apr. 18, 1988.
Billy's mother is told by the librarian about him using a whistle in the
Ketchum, Hank. Dennis the Menace Feb. 25, 19??
Dennis reminds Joey (?) that they need to get warmed up in the library
before they get kicked out.
--------. Dennis the Menace Apr. 14, 19??
Dennis asks the librarian where the "dirty book" department is because
he spilled vegetable soup in a book.
--------. Denice the Menace May 12, 19??
"I dunno why, but she [the librarian] always takes sort of a real
personal interest in me."
-------. Dennis the Menace. April 15, ????. You see Mrs. Mitchell
coming out of the public library with Dennis in tow. She has a scowl on
her face and he is asking for his whistle back. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
--------. Dennis the Menace April 5, 1988.
Dennis contrasts the public bus and the school bus by saying that public
transit is quieter ("like a library").
--------. Dennis the Menace Sep. 2, 1990.
During a library visit, Margaret is humiliated when Dennis' unusually
good behavior is complimented by the librrian, who scolds her for "doing
nothing but chattering."
(?) Konopacki Labor Cartoons (?)
Museum display of library books from the last library (which closed) with
the label "now extinct". A boy is told, "The bad news is that the government
is closing the museum due to budget cuts."
Krentzin, Alex. ALEX...The
4157 Cooper Street Royal Oak, MI 48073
The only regularly-published strip whose subject is libraries and
librarians. Occasionally has some funny jokes in it.
Larson, Gary. Far Side (?)
Hell's library has nothing but books with story problems.
--------. Far Side (?) (reprinted in Last Chapter and Worse
Andrews and McMeel, 1996), pg. 13.
Ned hits on the senior librarian: "Read any good books lately?" Background
shows shelves upon shelves of books.
(?) Little Orphan Annie May 18, 1987.
Ms. Slate (a librarian?) tells Annie that the great thing about libraries
is that "there's always a book that tells you how to do anything", while
McNally, Ruth. College Is... May 9, 1983.
"Overwhelmed" MSU student asks if there is a library for beginners.
MacNelly, Jeff. Shoe (?)
Bookstore joke, but close to a library one: patron asking about
self-help section is told to find it himself.
--------. Shoe Mar. 21, 1980.
Skyler does research for his algebra homework in the library's mystery
--------. Shoe (1987).
The school library's effective new overdue policy is to make you hand
in a book report instead of fining you.
--------. Shoe May 25, 1987.
A convict tells another prisoner that he'll spend his last night there
down at the prison library (futilely) working on his appeal.
Marlette, Doug. Kudzu Nov. 30, 1987.
Reverend Dunn, running for office, promises a return to morals. When told
about his overdue library books, whose titles he had forgotten, he is
reminded that they are "Corsets of Passion" and "Bimbos from Babylon".
McCoy, Glenn. DUPLEX. May 8, 1999. Patron gets bonked on the
head by a falling library book. He writes out symbols for cuss words on
a big placard and holds it up. The librarian is sitting at a desk behind
him where there is a sign that reads "quiet please". (Thanks to Rachel
(?) Moon Mullins July 21, 1987.
The wife wants to go to the library to pick up travel books that will
suggest where they can go. The husband replies that the bank book will
tell them better.
Myers, Russell. Broom Hilda (?)
A big, ugly, intimidating librarian sits behind a sign that says "SHUT
UP". Everyone in the library gently tiptoes by.
--------. Broom Hilda Jan. 9, 19??
Not technically a library joke, but a shelving joke. The books are arranged
so that the children's books are at the bottom, the classics are in the
middle and the sleazy stuff is way at the top (where Hilda flies to them).
--------. Broom Hilda April 13, 19??
Broom Hilda thinks she is in the "quietest library", but finds she was
actually in the funeral home next door.
--------. Broom Hilda Aug. 17, 1984.
Librarian tells staff to keep a patron out of the history section (he
had yelled "Chaarrge!!!").
(?) Nancy May 16, 1983.
Nancy asks a policeman for an escort because her library card is so
valuable, a robber might steal it and "take out a thousand books."
--------. Nancy May 17, 1983.
Nancy says that library cards are great because, not only does it let
you borrow books, "but you feel like a celebrity while doing it" (the
librarian told her to put her "autograph" on it.
O'Hare, Mark. CITIZEN DOG. ???? 1999. The guy is comfortably
reading in a big chair while the dog is reading the newspaper in front
of the fireplace. The dog comments that in the future people will curl
up with a good electronic book. The guy comments that he does not like
the future very much. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
Parker. Wizard of Id Oct. 21, 19??
A citizen reading "Snow White" yells, "...Hey, Grumpy" as the king
passes. The king thinks, "Time to purge the library."
Peters, Mike. Mother Goose and Grimm (?)
Conan the Librarian mans the overdue books desk.
--------. Mother Goose and Grimm Nov. 24, 19??
Grimm (the dog) asks the librarian for scratch-and-sniff books.
--------. Mother Goose and Grimm Sep. 17, 1987.
Dracula asks the librarian for a book he can sink his teeth into.
Piraro, Dan. Bizarro (?) (Reprinted in Bizarro Number 9
UPS, 1995), pg. 137.
"Do you have any books on rhetoric?"; "Is that a rhetorical question?"
Rechin, Bill and Don Wilder. Crock Feb. 18, 19??
Patron tells the librarian he felt "flushed with confidence" after taking
out a book on plumbing.
--------. Crock Aug. 17, 19??
Patron who wanted a light summer book is mad at the librarian for
offering an 18-pager ("If I wanted _War and Peace_...").
Remlick, G. Rm A313 Nov. 4, 1988.
Mo reluctantly agrees to study at the library so his roomate can bring
two girls to their apartment.
(?) Rex Morgan Aug. 19, 1987.
Cindi Kane, failing to find the reference book she needs at the city
library asks for help from a professor, who tells her they're at the
--------. Rex Morgan Aug. 21, 1987.
A man and a woman think about their upcoming rendez-vous at the library.
Schneider, Howie. Eek and Meek Mar. 19, 1970.
"Do you realize what all this new knowledge is going to mean?" "Bigger
--------. Eek and Meek Mar. 1, 1984.
Shows a library with two entrances - "Fiction" and "Non-Fiction" (the
former has a fake entrance).
Schulz, Charles. Peanuts (?)
Lucy, checking Snoopy's book to see if it's suitable for the school
library, notes that it contains mild profanity (the hero cries, "Rats!").
--------. Peanuts Jan. 15, 1979.
Peppermint Patty asks the librarian for a blue book.
--------. Peanuts Jan. 18, 1979.
Marcie shushes Peppermint Patty, who is singing an old WWII song. Patty
asks the unseen (old?) librarian if it "brought back a flood of memories."
--------. Peanuts Jan. 19, 1979. Peppermint Patty asks if the library
takes traveller's checks, since she doesn't have a library card.
Shepperd, Sherrie. (?) [n]
"Obviously, you're not familiar with our penalty for late returns" [shows
a woman in handcuffs being escorted out].
Stamatz, Mark Alan. Washingtoon (1992).
President Bush proposes "no more libraries" in this "post-library era".
One panel shows a public library open 1 hour/week.
Stevens, J. 'Tooned In July 25, 1988.
Pee Wee has a meal spread out in the library under an "ABSOLUTELY NO EATING
IN THE LIBRARY" sign, explaining that he can't study "without a snack
Stratton, Tom. (?) [n]
"I'm not kidding around anymore, Mrs. Sharp. You have our film. We have
(?) Thatch Aug. 20, 1996. [n]
Punchline is "on the beach, even the librarians look like Pamela Lee."
Thaves, Bob. Frank and Ernest Feb. 25, 19??
The librarian explains that "Robin Hood" was removed from the shelves
because it had too much "Saxon violence".
--------. Frank and Ernest Mar. 17, 1978.
The librarian of the Enchanted Forest branch comments that the seven dwarfs
still haven't returned their copies of "Little Women".
--------. Frank and Ernest Jul. 21, 1985.
The librarian takes inventory. Magic books keep disappearing, books on
geography are in the wrong locations, books on how to learn speedreading
are overdue and books on reincarnation are at the "returns" counter.
-------. FRANK AND ERNEST. April 18, 2001 A patron brings a
scroll back to the clerk at the returns desk of the Athens Library. He
is reminded that all returns have to be rewound. (Thanks to Rachel Robbins.)
Toles. Curious Avenue (?)
Patron asks the librarian how to find "a book about..." Librarian answers
in what to us would seem straight-forward, but I guess is supposed to
sound complicated. Patron then asks if there are any books that explain
how to find books in the library. There are, of course, but the strip
Vemeer, Al. Pricilla's Pop Feb. 15, 19??
"[Our librarian] uses the right word at the right time" (e.g. "QUIET!").
--------. Pricilla's Pop June 11, 19??
Pricilla tries to help Stuart get rid of his library phobia.
--------. Pricilla's Pop June 19, 19??
Pricilla's friend complains that she couldn't "find romance" in the
library. Pricilla aks if she looked under "R".
--------. Pricilla's Pop June 25, 19??
Pricilla longs for the day she'll be head librarian.
--------. Pricilla's Pop July 20, 19??
Pricilla says that when she squints her eyes, the librarian looks like
--------. Pricilla's Pop July 22, 19??
Pricilla's scratch'n'sniff blouse of a library smells like glue, ink and
--------. Pricilla's Pop Sep. 15, 19??
Charlie bounces his ball off the steps of the bookmobile, but complains
it's not like the library's steps.
--------. Pricilla's Pop Nov. 1, 19??
Pricilla is told that a librarian never has time for love and romance,
to which she replies, "but she gets to read all about it".
--------. Pricilla's Pop Nov. 9, 19??
Apparently, the cartoonist receives library cards from across the
--------. Pricilla's Pop Nov. 27, 19??
Pricilla says that there must be a library in Heaven ("That's what makes
--------. Pricilla's Pop Apr. 6, 1972.
Pricilla is impressed upon learning that the NYPL has 5 million books
under one roof ("no wonder they call it Fun City").
--------. Pricilla's Pop May 5, 1972.
Pricilla says that her term project about the librarian would make a
--------. Pricilla's Pop Nov. 12, 1973.
Pricilla thinks of the librarian's eyeshade as a tiara.
--------. Pricilla's Pop Jul. 31, 1975.
Pricilla says "there's more to life than a beautiful face and here it
--------. Pricilla's Pop Oct. 6, 1975.
Pricilla calls the rich librarian "well-endowed".
--------. Pricilla's Pop June 8, 1976.
Pricilla can't believe that there are no libraries in Heaven ("Surely,
there must be a neighbourhood branch").
--------. Pricilla's Pop Sep. 11, 1976.
Stuart calls the library building beautiful ("a beautiful place to bounce
a tennis ball").
--------. Pricilla's Pop Sep. 14, 1976.
Stuart is told he can't bounce his tennis ball on the library steps
because it's sacrilege, irreverant, disrespectful and (most importantly)
against a city ordinance.
--------. Pricilla's Pop May 9, 1977.
Pricilla has a dream that she won a library beauty contest ("Miss Paste
Pot of 1987").
Waisglow, David and Gordon Coulthant. Farcus (Reprinted in It's
Not a Bad Job, But I Hate the Hours. Kansas City: UPS, 19940, pg.
Desert island librarian: "No excuses. It's overdue...now hand over those
Walker, Mort. Beetle Bailey Dec. 5, 1982.
General Halftrack, commenting on increased military spending, says that
"money won't help them [soldiers], but schools and libraries might".
Watterson, Bill. _Calvin and Hobbes Dec. 26, 19??
Calvin fears the worst upon realizing that his book is overdue and is
told that he'll only be fined ten cents ("The way some of the librarians
look at you, I naturally assumed the consequences would be more dire").
--------. Calvin and Hobbes Dec. 9, 1987.
Calvin's booted out of the library after making too much noise imitating
the dinosaurs he has been reading about there.
--------. Calvin and Hobbes July 4, 1989.
Calvin describes the "gross" book he checked out of the library (larva
eating spiders alive) at the dinner table.
--------. Calvin and Hobbes Mar. 24, 1990.
Calvin is disappointed that the library has no books on homemade bombs
("and people wonder why kids don't read").
Wilson Library Bulletin's "Brief Respite" section has shown the
work of the following cartoonists: G. Abbott, Artell, Bernhardt, Cole,
Corbett, Cotham, Delmonte, Joseph Farris, J.P. Gini (?), Arthur Magear,
Nick, Orlin, Packwell, Rini, Schochet, Thomas, A.J. Toos (?) and M. Twoky.
Wilson, Tom. Ziggy Nov. 25, 19??
"In keeping with library policy, this book on speed reading is due back
in 10 minutes!!"
--------. Ziggy Aug. 17, 1984.
Sign in the library: "_SHUT UP_ (formerly SILENCE)"
--------. Ziggy May 19, 1989.
Three sets of shelves: Must Reading, Optional Reading and Better Not.
--------. Ziggy Aug. 21, 1989. Three sets of shelves: Recommended
Reading, Required Reading and Or Else!!
--------. Ziggy Mar. 8, 1990.Two sets of shelves: Self-improvement
Books and Holding-Your-Own Books.
--------. Ziggy Mar. 29, 1990. Biography section split into
Authorized and Unauthorized.
--------. Ziggy Dec. 18, 1996. The man at the information desk
suggests that Ziggy try a Nexus [sic]search.
Wright, Larry [political cartoon] July 24, 1988.Spy, equipped with
notepaper and cameras, is shown to be concerned aboutthe "no spies allowed
in this section" sign.
Young, Dean and Stan Drake. Blondie May 26, 1982.Alexander
complains that the library was so quiet, all he could do therewas study.
That's it, folks. Not much, but it's the only list I've seen (maybe I
just don't do research that well 8) . If anyone doesn't have access to
these sources, I might have them at home andcan photocopy the requisite
pages for .25 US/pg (.09 US/pg if I can use theuniversity's copier). I
plan to purchase whatever I don't have, but someof it's hard to come by.
Steven M. Bergson (email@example.com)
With the acknowledged assistance of Chris Dodge and Sanford Berman (both
ofHennepin County (MN) Public Library), Lisa Fricker, John Nann (Brooklyn
LawSchool), Kivi Shapiro (University of Western Ontario), Norman Stevens
(Molesworth Institute) and Randall W. Scott (Michigan State UniversityLibraries).