Would you want to ask Madame Pince, the librarian at Hogwarts, a reference question?
Neither would I, though I have to admit I admire her ability to pull off that hat.
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!
You should never encounter this kind of librarian at the WSU Libraries.
And you may be relieved (or disappointed) to know that we do not make a practice of hiring wild animals as librarians.
Also, even though you've probably figured this out already, Parker Posey doesn't work in our libraries, either.
Some online links to further discussions of librarian stereotypes.
These are real comments from WSU Library users from the most recent (2009) LibQual survey: