Thursday, December 20, 2012

Call for Papers on Librarian Stereotypes

When someone says the word "librarian," what do you think of? Most envision a shushing spinster wearing sensible shoes, her grey hair pulled tightly in a bun and glasses perched on the end of her nose. How does this common perception affect people's attitudes toward libraries and the library profession? This question and more will be addressed in a forthcoming book titled Beyond the Bun: Librarian Valuing Through Perception and Presentation. The editors of this book are now accepting papers on the topic of librarian style, stereotypes, and image.

A library associate who works at a public library in Washington, D.C.

Nicole Pagowsky, instructional services librarian at the University of Arizona, and Miram Rigby, social services librarian at the University of Oregon, are accepting abstracts and proposals that cover - but aren't limited to - the following issues:

How the historical and current underpinnings of demographics in the profession impact stereotypes and how to overcome these when attempting to attract more diversity to the profession.

The sexuality and sexualization of librarians: how are librarians gendered within librarianship and by others? How do race and age tie in to these notions?

How have librarian demographics evolved in relations to diversity? Where are the pitfalls, and where have gains been made? What is needed for the future?

Does the "trendiness" of librarians impose additional expectations? Does it diminish what users expect? Does it attract users?

Do users truly judge librarians based on what they wear? Are they more open to library instruction or reference service if librarians look a certain way?

How does the public's perception of librarians impact programming efforts, and is programming one way to reverse negative stereotypes through action? How can this be accomplished?

The deadline for these papers is February 1, 2013. Send abstracts and proposals of up to 500 words and a brief author's statement to Those who submit papers will be notified by April 2013. Final manuscripts of 1,500 to 5,000 words will be due August 1, 2013. For more information, go to THIS LINK.

The above photograph is from


  1. My boss would TOTALLY chew me out if I wore ANYTHING like that to work.

  2. HR would probably have a word with me. But I think she looks amazing!