It is not an exaggeration to say that Curbside Larry is a worldwide phenomenon. With over 1.2 million views for his debut video on Twitter alone, an appearance on Good Morning America, as well as shoutouts by fans from as far away as Sweden and Australia, it is safe to say that Curbside Larry is the world's first viral library advocate. His video has been featured in media outlets as diverse as Buzzfeed, CBS Morning News, and Texas Monthly (who also ranked Curbside Larry as one of the Most Iconic Local TV & Billboard Legends in Texas)
Curbside Larry, the brainchild of John Schaffer and the creative crew at Barbara Bush Branch Library, was born of the need to spread the word about changes in library services in the face of Covid-19. Curbside Larry is the most visible, but hardly the only, example of Harris County Public Library's ongoing efforts to provide library services to the public while ensuring the safety of patrons and staff alike. HCPL staff has created hundreds of videos ranging from story times and cooking demonstrations to research tutorials and computer instruction--all available on our YouTube Channel.
But Curbside Larry struck a chord for a lot of people with his unbridled enthusiasm and his throwback no-budget approach to advertising. It occurred to us that his legions of fans might like a peak under the cowboy hat to get to know John Schaffer, the man behind the man behind the Elvis-style sunglasses and the big Texas twang. To paraphrase Curbside Larry himself, we got him. John sat down with HCPL's Youth Services Assistant Manager for Programs, Partnerships & Outreach, Jennifer Bacall for a chat.