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Film Noir Librarians

It begins with an urgent request for information: A stranger up against a deadline walks into an office with a question.

 But with a little digging, ulterior motives shine through; the answer found is not always the answer sought. Reference librarianship is a shadowy art—part hardboiled experience, part blind luck.

These portraits by College photographer Laurence Kesterson of Swarthmore’s reference librarians playfully disrupt well-worn stereotypes of hard-nosed “shhh!”-ers. They ask,“What if we see librarians as key agents in an unfolding story of danger, intrigue, and mystery?”

You know how to ask us for help, don’t you, Swarthmore? You just come into the library and tell us what you want to know.