Margaret Miles (MSLS ’83), alumna of the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS), successfully competed on Jeopardy in April, and gained international attention by embracing two classic librarian stereotypes during the interview portion of the show.
Miles, a longtime youth services librarian at the New Hanover County Public Library in Wilmington, N.C., took an early lead and dominated the rest of the game on the April 14 broadcast, ultimately winning over $40,000.
But it was her banter with host Alex Trebek that really captured viewers’ hearts.
“You have the demeanor of a librarian; you're very calm, and you know a lot!” Trebek said. “What do you do for fun?”
“'What do I do for fun?' Knit...” Miles paused as Trebek broke into laughter. “And pet cats. I'm hopelessly stereotypical.”
Twitter exploded with praise for Miles’ outstanding performance and her hilarious response to Trebek’s question, and the story of her popularity was picked up by a variety of news outlets, including US Weekly, The Huffington Post, and the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
“Librarians are who we are because we love both answers and questions,” she told The Huffington Post. “It’s a pleasure to share what we know, and even more fun to get the chance to learn something new while finding an answer to someone’s question. I think it would be especially cool if seeing some buzz about a librarian on Twitter and Facebook reminds people to share some love with their local librarians.”