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Supplement to “Check It Out”

“Faster than free Internet! More powerful than a stack of reference books!”

It’s Super Librarian, star of a recent video on the video Web site. Cleverly disguised in her secret identity as Linda Bartley, Super Librarian is the Youth Services librarian at the McCracken County Public Library, the “protector of knowledge and free entertainment.”

When the library was developing an ad for local cable television to publicize all the services it offers, Bartley agreed to put on a red, yellow, and blue “super” costume and pose with computers and books. Bartley doesn’t consider herself an outgoing person, but, she says, “I try to say yes sometimes to things I wouldn’t ordinarily do.” Then the video was uploaded to the YouTube Web site, where users can post their videos for anyone to watch and enjoy.

The results were totally unexpected: more than 100,000 views in the past year, with more than 200 viewers listing the video as a “favorite.” The video won an InfoTubey award from a library conference this year, and other libraries have made their own videos. New Jersey’s public libraries even produced their own Super Librarian ad, though it was missing the heroic costume.

Has stardom changed Bartley’s life? Well, maybe a little. “I work with kids,” she says. “The younger ones recognize me from the video and think it’s great. It makes it easier for me to talk with them.”

Behind the cute image is a serious message, says Bartley: “We have more than just books. And if we don’t have what you need here, we can get it for you.” According to the video, every librarian at the McCracken County Library is a Super Librarian—and you’re sure to find super librarians at your local library, too!

To watch the video, go to and type in “Adventures of Super Librarian” in the search box.

To read the Kentucky Living September 2007 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: Check It Out

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