Watch Texas Librarian "Curbside Larry" Dazzle in a Hilarious Parody of Used Car Commercials
As many have come to realize amidst coronavirus shutdowns, public libraries are one of the many blessings of daily life we took for granted in the pre-COVID 19 era. But even though libraries across the country are shuttered to visitors, that doesn't mean the fun—and learning—has to stop. Just take the example of "Curbside Larry" played by Barbara Bush Branch Library staffer John Schaffer, who reminds readers that they can still utilize their local Harris County Public Library for curbside pickup. After recording a now-viral video designed to be a riff on typical used car commercial, the Spring, Texas, librarian has achieved a bit of a cult following. Watch below.
"Anytime a light can be shined on the great work that libraries do, and the tremendous amount of services that they provide for their communities—That’s a good thing!" Schaffer shared with Southern Living. "The amount of positive response on social media from around the world has been truly heart-warming. I think it just reminded people how much the love their libraries."
So what inspired the now famous vid? "When we first started offering curbside pick-up for our patrons it was a little difficult to get the word out about the service given the amount of news being disseminated every day in the media. I thought a TV commercial would be a good idea, but I knew that probably wasn’t the best use of our limited budget. I then thought, 'What would a zero-budget commercial look like?'" Schaffer recalled. "Harris County has its share of late-night commercial personalities like Mattress Mack and Jim Adler, but I grew up with Marvin Zindler [a beloved news reporter for Houston's KTRK-TV] and I think his passion is what I wanted to emulate the most. I floated the idea to my co-workers, and you can never over-estimate the creativity and sense of humor of library staff when it comes to getting the message out about a service that we offer to our patrons. The ideas started rolling and everyone pitched in. It was a lot of fun and hopefully you’ll see Curbside Larry again soon because at Harris County Public Library, 'We got’em!'"
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When he's not stepping into the role of Curbside Larry, you can find Schaffer reading. He's about to start reading Everbody's Son by Thrity Umrigar , for his afternoon reading club program. A recent favorite read? The Library Book by Susan Orlean.
We'll be adding both of these picks to our list—and safe to say we'll also be sending the Curbside Larry video to every bookworm we know.