Libraries in the Mainstream Banner

Part of last night’s episode of the NBC show Parks and Recreation, entitled “Ron and Tammy” was about librarians and libraries. Somewhat.


Above: Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler

For those readers unfamiliar with the show, Parks and Recreation stars Amy Poehler (Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Saturday Night Live, Mean Girls, Baby Mama) as Leslie Knope, the Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department for the fictional city of Pawnee, Indiana. The series, now in its second season, revolves around Knope’s mission to build a park on the site of an empty pit, which has recently been filled and is now a lot. “Ron and Tammy” opens with a meeting to discuss changing The Subcommittee for Pit Beautification’s name to “The Subcommittee for Lot Beautification.” The meeting is interrupted when Knope’s co-worker, Mark Brendanawicz, informs her that the library is interested in acquiring “the lot” for a new branch. Tammy Swanson is ex-wife of Knope’s boss, Ron Swanson, and the Deputy Director of Library Services for Pawnee. Much of the episode is dedicated to … exploring Ron and Tammy’s tumultuous relationship, but the library-specific moments are worth the watch. Please note that this episode is rated PG-13, but did air on NBC.


Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman

Memorable library-related quotes (spoiler alert):

Leslie: Pawnee’s library department is the most diabolical ruthless bunch of bureaucrats I’ve ever seen. They’re like a biker gang. But instead of shotguns and crystal meth, they use political savvy… and shushing.

Tom: Punk ass book jockies.

Leslie: The library is the worst group of people ever assembled in history. They’re mean, conniving, rude and extremely well read, which makes them very dangerous.

Tammy: You have overdue book fees totaling three dollars, missy.
Leslie: That is so typical. I should have known you’d use a low blow dirty pool BS move like that. That’s why everybody hates the library. Here, you know what? Here’s your three dollars. And I’ll see you in hell.

Leslie: Are you even listening to yourself? You’re defending the library now? Ron, the library. Of all the horrifying miserable things in the world.


Part of the Hulu video worth watching for library content: 2:12 to 5:30.


Tammy Swanson, Pawnee Librarian, played by Megan Mullally (coincidentally, Mullally is Offerman’s real-life spouse)