Monday, October 14, 2013

This Is What Librarians Look Like

Anyone who has been following my blog for a while knows that on occasion I do like to address the persisting stereotype of what a librarian looks like
She's a librarian.
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When many people think of librarians, they immediately envision a middle aged-to-elderly white woman with silver or greying hair that is either cut short or worn in an updo (like a bun). They see her as wearing eyeglasses and sensible shoes, minimal or no jewelry or makeup, and clothing that many would describe as "dowdy." Toss in a cardigan for good measure. I know that the librarians I had throughout elementary and high school pretty much fit this description.
So is she.
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Looking around my MLS classes today, I do see that nearly half of my classmates are white women. However, there are also quite a few men and people of color who are working toward being degreed librarians or archivists. Yet most people still don't envision a man or a person of color when they're asked to think about what a librarian looks like. But the image of the librarian is changing.
He's a librarian, too.
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I recently came across a Tumblr blog that is "challenging the librarian stereotype one post at a time," according to its header. Aptly named This Is What a Librarian Looks Like, the blog features viewer-submitted photographs of librarians who feel that they don't fit the staid and frumpy librarian stereotype.
As is she.
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Coming from all across the United States and around the world, the photo submissions include a refreshing array of not only what today's librarians look like, but also what they like to do (and no, it's not shushing). Quite a few are seen belly dancing, playing in rock bands, riding motorcycles, holding boa constrictors, and skating on roller derby teams. This ain't your grade-school librarian...or is it?
So is he. Can you believe it?
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If you want to savor a diverse representation of the modern librarian, take a look at This Is What a Librarian Looks Like blog at THIS LINK.

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