The Old Librarian’s Almanack

The earliest reference to the Old Librarian's Almanack is found In 1907, when the novelist Edmund Lester Pearson mentioned it in his Boston Evening Transcript column. It was, he said, a small almanac from 1773 that contained the "opinion and counsel" of a curmudgeonly librarian whose ideas were strikingly non-modern. For instance, the Old Librarian felt it was the duty of all librarians to "cast out and destroy" any book that was "merely frivolous." The Old Librarian also felt that women should be barred from libraries because they are "given to Reading of frivolous Romances." Two years later, Pearson arranged for the reprinting of the Almanack, and it was favorably reviewed by many newspapers which accepted it as an authentic 18th-Century curiosity. The Almanack became a popular source of quotations, because so many of the Old Librarian's sayings were humorously cantankerous and non-politically correct. Very few people realized that there was no Old Librarian. Pearson himself had written the Almanack as a joke.

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