These 7 Surprising People Used to Be Librarians

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Librarians are special people, as anyone who knows or has interacted with them regularly will tell you. I have little kids, so I see my friendly librarians a couple of times a week. We’re basically co-parents.

You might have an image in your mind of what a librarian should look or act like, and maybe most of the time you’d be spot on.

But not all of the time. And the fact that these 7 people used to be librarians just might surprise you.

#7. Casanova

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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).

#6. Mao Zedong

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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.

#5. Goethe

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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.

#4. J. Edgar Hoover

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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.

#3. Beverly Cleary

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Maybe this one isn’t much of a surprise, but the Newberry Medal-winning author was also a children’s librarian in Yakima, WA.

#2. Lewis Carroll

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Carroll worked as sub-librarian at Oxford University, where he also tutored students and lectured in (surprisingly) mathematics.

#1. Batgirl

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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.

Who knew?