The Library Policeman Art
Works / Novellas

The Library Policeman

The Library Policeman Art

Released

September 24th, 1990

Available Format(s)

In Collection

When a man forgets to return some books he borrowed from the library while writing a speech, and later accidentally destroys them, the phantom librarian who lent him the books sends the library policemen to terrorize him

Available In

Name
Type
Date
Story Collection
September 1990

Inspiration

On the morning when this story started to happen, I was sitting at the breakfast table with my son Owen. Owen tore himself away from the sports section just long enough to ask me if I'd be going by the mall that day—there was a book he wanted me to pick up for a school report. I suggested that Owen try the local library. He muttered some reply. I only caught two words of it, but, given my interests, those two words were more than enough to pique my interest. They were "library police." I put my half of the newspaper aside, used the MUTE button on the remote control, and asked Owen to kindly repeat himself.

He was reluctant to do so, but I pressed him. Finally he told me that he didn't like to use the library because he worried about the Library Police. He knew there were no Library Police, he hastened to add, but it was one of those stories that burrowed down into our subconscious and just sort of lurked there. He had heard it from his Aunt Stephanie when he was seven or eight and much more gullible, and it had been lurking ever since.

I, of course, was delighted, because I had been afraid of the Library Police myself as a kid—the faceless enforcers who would actually come to your house if you didn't bring your overdue books back. I found myself musing on the Library Police over the next three or four days, and as I mused, I began to glimpse the outlines of this story. I thought it would probably be a funny story. What I realized, however, was something I knew already: the fears of childhood have a hideous persistence.

Characters

Hide List Show List
Name
Description
3 Bears
From Goldilocks and the 3 bears
Garfield
Cartoon cat
God
Mentioned in passing
Goldilocks
From Goldilocks and the 3 bears
Grandma
On a poster in the Children's library in Junction City
Gretel
From Hansel & Gretel
Guns N Roses
Band mentioned by Ardelia Lortz
Hansel
From Hansel & Gretel
Huey
One of the 3 nephews of Donald Duck
Jack
From the children's story, Jack and the Beanstalk
Jesus
Mentioned in passing
Little Red Riding Hood
On a poster in the Children's library in Junction City
Louie
One of the 3 nephews of Donald Duck
Matthew
Biblical character
Road Runner
From the Road Runner cartoon
Simple Simon
Nickname of a little boy on a poster in the Children's Library in Junction City.
?, Billy
Name of one of the children with Ardelia Lortz in the Junction City Children's Library
?, Carl
Was on the speaker committee for the Rotary Club in Junction City
?, Jimmy
Barber in Junction City
?, John
Alcoholic at Angle Street Homeless Shelter's AA Meeting
?, Kenny
Was on the speaker committee for the Rotary Club in Junction City
?, Lukey
Alcoholic friend of Dave Duncan at the Angle Street Homeless Shelter.
?, Mike
Worked at Pell's Bookstore in Des Moines
?, Rudolph
Alcoholic friend of Dave Duncan at the Angle Street Homeless Shelter.
?, Sandra
Name of one of the children with Ardelia Lortz in the Junction City Children's Library
?, Sonja
Name of one of the children with Ardelia Lortz in the Junction City Children's Library.
?, Tommy
Name of one of the children with Ardelia Lortz in the Junction City Children's Library
Abbot, Bud
Actor mentioned in passing
Adams, John
On a sign in the Junction City library
Adelmen, Kent
Editor of "The Speakers Companion" which was borrowed from the Junction City Library by Sam Peebles.
Aikens, Willie
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Andrews, V.C.
Horror author mentioned by Ardelia Lortz
Basilio, Carmen
Boxer thought of by Dave Duncan
Baskin, Elmer
Owner of the bank in Junction City
Beeman, Norman
Elected the Homestead County Sheriff in 1945
Berrigan, Cynthia
Worked at the Junction City Library and spoke to Sam Peebles on 7 April 1990
Blake, Jennifer
Romance Novel writer read by Naomi Higgins
Blume, Judy
Author mentioned in the Children's Library
Brakeman, Phil
Ran for the State House.
Brett, George
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Brett, Ken
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Bright, Will
Called Craig Jones about the Amazing Joe's accident
Candy, George
Well-connected developer in Junction City
Carter, ?
Helped Stan Soames on his farm
Costello, Lou
Actor mentioned in passing
Coyote
From the Road Runner cartoon
Culpepper, Felicia
Junction City head librarian from 1932 until 1951
Dawson, ?
Drove the fuel truck at the airport
Duck, Dewey
One of the 3 nephews of Donald Duck
Duck, Donald
Cartoon character, and uncle of Huey, Dewey and Louie
Duncan, Dave (Dirty Dave)
60-year-old diabetic, alcoholic who was a former lover of Ardelia Lortz.
Duncan, Mr.
Father of Dave Duncan.
Duncan, Mrs.
Mother of Dave Duncan
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Ike)
American president in 1957
Emerson, Ralph Waldo
Writer quoted on the wall of Junction City's Library
Engalls, Bruce
At Sam Peebles Rotary Club speech, and enjoyed it so much he bought him a drink.
Felleman, Hazel
Editor of "Best Loved Poems of the American People" which was borrowed from the Junction City Library by Sam Peebles.
Frame, Russ
Friend of Sam Peebles. Physicians assistant of Dr Melden.
Free, Spencer Michael
Poet quoted in Sam Peebles Rotary Club speech
Frey, Jim
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Garland, Judy
Actress mentioned in passing
Gibson, Tom
One of the children killed by Ardelia Lortz in July 1960 in the Junction City library.
Glasters, Mrs.
Teacher of Sam Peebles in the 4th grade
Grimm
Author mentioned in passing
Harrigan, Mrs.
Mother of Patsy Harrigan.
Harrigan, Patsy
One of the children killed by Ardelia Lortz in July 1960 in the Junction City library.
Harrington, Cammy
Saw Sam Peebles go into the Junction City Gazette
Higgins, Mrs.
Mother of Naomi Higgins.
Higgins, Naomi Sarah (Omes)
35-year-old secretary for many of the people in Junction City, including Sam Peebles
Humpe, Bill
Corn farmer on Truman Road, Proverbia, Iowa
Iverson, Burt
Spoke to Sam Peebles about a deal for insurance
Jackson, Andrew
His face is on the $20 note
Jefferson, Thomas
On a sign in the Junction City library
Jones, Craig
Lawyer in Junction City. Head of speaker committee for Rotary Club
Jordan, Keith
Paper boy in Junction City.
Kelly, Brian
Freight master in Junction City in 1960.
King, Stephen
Horror author mentioned by Ardelia Lortz
Klemmart, Willy
Little boy Ardelia Lortz scared with the Library Policeman.
Lavin, Christopher
Junction City Librarian from 1951 until his death of a heart attack.
Library Policeman, The
Man who punished boys and girls for bringing back library books late.
Lortz, Ardelia
Librarian
McCammon, Robert
Wrote The Swan Song
McGill, Doreen
Works in the office of the Junction City Gazette.
Meecham, Arthur
Was in the Junction City Gazette microfilm "Morgue" before Sam Peebles.
Melden, Dr.
Local doctor in Junction City.
Moggins, Ira
Came back from WWII, killed his family then shot himself in the right ear with his service pistol
Moses, Gramma
Drove her car without a license
Murryat
Author mentioned in passing
O'Hara, Scarlett
Mentioned in passing
Orday, Sam
Corn farmer on Truman Road, Proverbia, Iowa
Osbourne, Ozzy
Singer mentioned by Ardelia Lortz
Otis, Amos
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Patton
General mentioned in passing
Pearlman, Rudy
Heard Sam Peebles speech at the Rotary dinner
Peckham, Eddie
Worked at the library as a part time janitor
Peebles, Mr.
Father of Sam Peebles.
Peebles, Mrs.
Mother of Sam Peebles.
Peebles, Samuel
Junction City Realty and Insurance owner.
Porter, Darrell
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Power, John
Deputy Sheriff. Father of Tansy Power
Power, Mrs.
Wife of John and mother of Tansy Power
Power, Tansy
Daughter of John Power. Maiden name of Tansy Ryan.
Price, Richard
The current Junction City Librarian.
Quisenberry, Dan
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Randowski, Joseph (The Amazing Joe)
The Amazing Joe was an acrobat with Curry and Trembo's All-Star Circus and Traveling Carnival.
Reed, Tommy
Sam Peebles went to High School with him
Rockwell, Norman
Painter mentioned in passing
Rogers, Rosemary
Romance Novel writer read by Naomi Higgins
Ryan, Tansy
Married name of Tansy Powell. Works at the Junction City post office. John Power's daughter. Attends AA meetings
Seger, Mrs.
Ran the Five-and-Dime in Junction City in the '60's.
Serling, Rod
From the TV show The Twilight Zone
Seuss, Dr.
Author
Shatner, William
Actor in Star Trek
Sheldon, Paul
Romance novel writer read by Naomi Higgins
Soames, Joey
Son of Stan and Laura Soames.
Soames, Laura
Ex-wife of Stan and mother of Joey Soames.
Soames, Stan
Pilot who helped Sam Peebles. Father of Joey Soames, and ex-husband of Laura Soames.
Splittorff, Paul
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
St. John, Tommy
Made a sign for the Angel Street Homeless Shelter
Stanford, Tom
Worked at the Junction City Library
Stephens, Frank
Rotary club member that made fun of Rotary meetings.
Stephens, Mrs.
Wife of Frank Stephens
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Wrote the "Black Arrow"
Vasser, Mary
Cleaned Sam Peebles house every Thursday.
Verrill, Hannah
Police dispatcher
Washington, U.L.
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Wells, H.G.
Author mentioned in passing
Whistler, James
Artist mentioned by Dave Duncan
White, Frank
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Wilson, Willie
Part of the 1980 Kansas City baseball team
Wolf, The
On a poster in the Children's library in Junction City
Wycliffe, Tom
Police friend of Sam Peebles who was on the Iowa State Patrol's traffic control board
Youngman, Stu
Had Sam Peebles write him a large homeowners insurance policy
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