Buffy the GLAMpire Slayer

The library at Sunnydale High

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

At my new student orientation for Simmons College of Library and Information Sciences, Professor Mary Wilkins Jordan cracked that all library students loved three things: cats, knitting, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At that point (May, 2013) I loved cats, I’d knitted several scarves and hats, and sure enough, I dug Buffy. I didn’t watch it when it was on — I was probably too sexist in 1997 [at the awful age of 13] to be interested in a show with a woman lead.

It was actually a librarian who turned me onto the show years and years after it had aired. While working at libraries, and before I began my MLS [this was 2011] I found myself dating a librarian who loved Buffy, and I was happy to watch it with her and finally suss out what drew people to this show.

I ended up finishing the show on my own, and then watched it again a few years later, this time incorporating Angel into the rewatch.

I’m not ride-or-die, and I’ve found plenty to criticize, e.g. Xander is every terrible thought/impulse I had in my worst Nice Guy(tm) years but never really gets called on it by the show or characters, but I enjoy it enough to want to rewatch it with Anna.

That brings us to now where we’re watching it. I thought it’d be fun to notice the library science moments in the show and scribble about ’em! I’m not doing detailed recaps or analyses, rather I’ll be directing you to Jenny Trout’s blog posts for that — but I may occasionally note something I find particularly…noteworthy.

So, hop aboard! Catch something I missed? Have a comment, question, criticism? Hit me up here or on twitter: @Oponions

Also, special shout out to The Toast and Daniel Mallory Ortberg for this post on Giles’ curriculum.

S01, E01 – Welcome to the Hellmouth

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

Executive producers: Sandy Gallin Gail Berman
Before we finish the opening credits we get our first library shout out! I mean I assume you all read the names diagonally like I do…


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Willow lets the audience know early on that the library is going to be an important base for the Scoobies. Her comment ‘where the books live’ is disappointing, apparently we’ve been fighting to be recognized as more than just a book repository for an awfully long time.

Cordy gets on in on the action as well, though this does raise questions about Sunnydale High’s library textbook policies. Are they on two-hour reserve? Can they leave the library room? Does Giles get frustrated every semester because teachers forget to let him know what textbooks they’ll be using and then suddenly get swamped with all their requests?

Pushed by both Cordelia and the plot, Buffy makes her way to the library where it gets a great reveal shot

The library at Sunnydale High
Take a good look! we’ll be spending an awful lot of time here


Noah Wyle, eat your heart out


Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 6.24.57 PM 1
hey check it out–Xander went to the library and actually got Theories in Trigonometry, just like Will suggested! [Presumably from QA531, or 516.24]

Buffy and Giles have a bunch of expository speeches on both the premise of the show and her backstory, but that’s about it for hot hot library content in the first episode.

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