Joan secured a job in a circulating library at Broadway and Eighty-ninth for eight dollars a week. Her shift was typically 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., then again from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., which was perfect for attending midday auditions. Her boss, kindly Esther Wright, recalled that Joan “was a good clerk on account of she would not let boys have dates with her unless they joined [Esther’s] circulating library. One night there were seventeen boys lined up to join.” Joan wrote their numbers on the wall near the telephone behind the circulation desk, which eventually looked like a directory of Manhattan’s available young men.
— from Joan Blondell: A Life between Takes, by Matthew Kennedy
I love her for her acting, her hard work, her stick-to-it-iveness, her ease in front of the camera, her comedy, and how long her career lasted.
But as a librarian’s daughter, as a girl who grew up in libraries, I love her the most for refusing to date boys unless they joined the library.