The Library (Seinfeld)

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"The Library"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 5
Directed byJoshua White
Written byLarry Charles
Production code304
Original air dateOctober 16, 1991 (1991-10-16)
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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"The Dog"
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"The Parking Garage"
Seinfeld (season 3)
List of episodes

"The Library" is the 22nd episode of the American NBC sitcom Seinfeld. It was the fifth episode of the show's third season.[1]


Jerry learns he has a library fine from 1971, for the then-controversial book Tropic of Cancer, and that the "case" has been turned over to the library investigations officer, Lt. Bookman. George arrives at the library, and suspects that the homeless man on the steps outside is Mr. Heyman, a physical education teacher at his high school whom he reported for giving him a wedgie, which got him fired. Jerry pays Mr. Bookman, and Heyman holds the dilapidated long-lost copy of Tropic of Cancer at the alleyway. Kramer flirts with the librarian, Marion, starting a forbidden affair with her.

Elaine is concerned that Mr. Lippman is planning to fire her, so after she sees Kramer crying over Marion's poetry, she takes some of it, trying unsuccessfully to impress Lippman with a new literary find.


Philip Baker Hall's role as a lieutenant, whom he played in imitation of Jack Webb's Sergeant Joe Friday of Dragnet fame, was very well received.[2][3] It was considered to be one of the best guest appearances on Seinfeld,[3] and led to Hall receiving many other offers of work.[3] It was rated as one of his most memorable performances.[4] When the New York Public Library decided to eliminate late fees in October 2021, it posted a satiric piece in its blog, supposedly written by another character of that episode (Sherry Becker), wishing Mr. Bookman a happy retirement.[5]


  1. ^ "Seinfeld Season 3 Episodes". TV Guide. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
  2. ^ "Seinfeld: "The Dog"/"The Library"/"The Pen"". TV Club. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Wenner, Daniel Kreps,James Montgomery,David Fear,Kory Grow,Gus; Kreps, Daniel; Montgomery, James; Fear, David; Grow, Kory; Wenner, Gus (July 8, 2014). "And They're Spectacular! 10 Actors on Their Memorable 'Seinfeld' Roles". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 11, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Philip Baker Hall on The Chicago 8, Seinfeld, and Paul Thomas Anderson". Film. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
  5. ^ "Happy Retirement to the Library's Own Lt. Joe Bookman". New York Public Library. October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 30, 2021.

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