Note: The name Alice Sherman applies only to IDW Comics Canon.
Alice (also known as Librarian, The Librarian, and in the IDW Canon, Alice Sherman) was a librarian at the main branch of the New York City Public Library who was working in the stacks when she encountered the Library ghost.
Alice pushed a cart of books across the South wing of the Main Reading Room. She paused and took a stack of books off an empty table. Patrons walked past and behind her. She placed the books on the lower level of the cart then continued on. She took those books downstairs into the basement's stacks to re-shelve them. She looked up at shelves, took a left into an aisle, scanned the shelves, looked left, and mentally counted then stopped and put the books away. A few books floated from one bookcase to the bookcase on the other side. Alice looked up to her left but didn't see anything. She continued down the aisle and went right. A short time later, Alice paused at a work station and wrote down notes on a clipboard. She picked up the clipboard and walked on. Alice walked past the card catalog when drawers started opening and cards inexplicably came flying out. Alice paused, turned around, screamed and ran, dodged drawers, and hurried through the stacks. She went left, left again, another left, turned and looked briefly, then kept running. She turned right, stopped, turned, and went left instead. After running away, she turned a corner and encountered the Library Ghost at 1:40 pm, scaring her out of her wits and leaving her traumatized.
Later in the day, Roger Delacorte, Dr. Venkman, and Dr. Stantz went into the office dividing the north and south wings of the Reading Room. Alice was inside lying on a table in shock. A man comforted her. Peter began the interview to help determine what happened downstairs in the stacks. She recalled not seeing any legs, but it definitely had arms because it reached out for her. Ray, held the Camcorder on her and Peter. Ray got more excited and remained oblivious of Alice being traumatized by the incident. Peter sat near Alice and told her he was going to ask her a couple of standard questions. He started off by asking if she or anyone in her family were ever been diagnosed schizophrenic or mentally incompetent. She remembered her uncle thought he was Saint Jerome. Peter made a face and countered that as a big yes. He asked her if she was habitually using drugs, stimulants, alcohol. She wasn't. Peter asked her if she was currently menstruating. Roger nervously asked what that had to do with it. Peter stated, "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." Dr. Spengler entered the office and reported the ghost was on the move.
After the incident, Alice relocated to a facility outside of the city. Weeks after Gozer was defeated, Rebecca Morales interviewed Alice outside on a bench under supervision by an employee. Alice considered what happened to her to be a blessing in disguise. The ghost was a sign she needed more peace and quiet in her life. She asked Rebecca if she told her about Saint Jerome yet. At some point, she went back to work. During the Megaspook event, Alice was among the pedestrians standing outside near Herald Towers and watched as the Ghostbusters and Ghost Smashers opened fire on the giant ghost. A few years later, Alice was on duty while Egon Spengler searched for the library's copy of "The Johansen Argument."
Alice's personality is typical of a library worker. She is very meek and gentle, which made it particularly effective for her to be the first to encounter a ghost in the movie.
- The Librarian was originally described in the final shooting script as a slightly stout and studious looking girl in her late 20's. Ultimately, a middle-aged actress named Alice Drummond was cast.
- In the 8/5/1983 draft, the Librarian's title was Assistant Librarian.
- In the 8/5/1983 draft, on page 2, the Librarian sees the books float across the aisle to the shelf on the other side. She suspects a co-worker named Lyle is playing a prank on her.
- Alice's St. Jerome line originates in the September 30, 1983 draft, on pages 30-32. When Peter, Egon, and Ray are interviewing Dana Barrett, Janine Melnitz remarks her uncle once saw St. Jerome on the subway but he got off at 59th Street to which Dana laughs then admits she doesn't believe in anything they just mentioned.
- When Alice screams, near her on the book shelf is "A Small Success" (1961) and on the top shelf is "The Great Man" (1957). Both were by the same author, Al Morgan. Also on the higher shelf is "The History of the Kingdom of Basaruah" (1946) by Joseph Morgan and Richard Schlatter.
- In Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular, Alice, the librarian, is known as Alice Melvin. She is 29 years old, wanted to be a fashion designer, stout and plain, just had her VCR stolen by her most recent date, and wanted to be reborn as Lonnie Anderson.
- On Cover B of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2, under the P.K.E. Meter is a passage "from a vantage...Librarian as the –" which is from the start of the August 5, 1983, September 30, 1983, and October 7, 1983 drafts of the first movie. The full passage is, "A single eerie musical note signals the presence of something strange looking down on the Librarian from a vantage point high above the room. It follows the Librarian as she pushes her cart around the corner."
- On page 2 of Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2:
- Alice's last name in the IDW canon is revealed to be Sherman.
- It appears Alice has retired and moved out of the city to a facility after her encounter with the Library ghost.
- Alice asks if she's talked about Saint Jerome. In the first movie, she mentions her uncle claimed he was Saint Jerome.
- IDW Comics
- Peter Venkman (1999). Ghostbusters - Chapter 03: "Get Her!" (1984) (DVD ts. 7:43-7:45). Columbia Pictures. Peter says: "Alice, I'm going to ask you a few standard questions, okay?"
- Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 16. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0918432685. Paragraph reads: "A single eerie musical note signals the presence of something strange looking down on the Librarian from a vantage point high above the room."
- Text Box (2020). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters Year One Issue #2" (2020) (Comic p.2). Text box reads: "Alice Sherman Librarian."
- Alice (1999). Ghostbusters - Chapter 03: "Get Her!" (1984) (DVD ts. 7:53-7:55). Columbia Pictures. Alice says: "My uncle thought he was Saint Jerome."
- Shay, Don (November 1985). Making Ghostbusters, p. 16. New York Zoetrope, New York NY USA, ISBN 0590336843. Paragraph reads: "A slightly stout, studious looking girl in her late twenties circulates quietly among the tables picking up books and putting them on her cart."
- Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1983). Ghostbusters (First Draft August 5, 1983) (Script p. 08). Ray Stantz says: "An assistant librarian got the best look at it.""
- Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1983). Ghostbusters (Third Draft September 30, 1983) (Script p. 32). Janine Melnitz says: "My uncle once saw St. Jerome on the subway but he got off at 59th Street.""
- Mueller, Richard (August 1985). Ghostbusters: The Supernatural Spectacular, p. 10-11. Tor Books, New York NY USA, ISBN 0812585984. Paragraph reads: "Coincidentally, less than a hundred feet away, Alice Melvin was thinking exactly the same thing, for an entirely different reason...Instead of becoming a fashion designer, she was, at the age of 29, working in the New York Public Library. Stout and plain, any sort of meaningful social life had eluded her, and she'd become an exile in her own mind and a prisoner of her fantasies. The last man who had gone home with her left in the morning with her VCR, and she'd given up trying, grimly resigned to a life in the stacks, moving books about, gaining wisdom and greatness through osmosis, hoping to return in the next life as Lonnie Anderson."