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Apr 25, 2013 — Hello, My name is Savannah Warren. I am an employee in the Kentucky Room at the DCPL. I am currently in the process of completing a masters degree in Library and Information Science from UK. In the classes that I take, we come across quite a number of interesting topics in which I feel many other people would also be interested. The topic consuming my time now is that of the perception of librarians. I have found that this is a topic of major concern in library circles and that many people are trying very hard to change this perception. Apparently, there is a stereotype of librarians being older, cranky women who wear conservative clothing, glasses, their hair in a bun and like to keep their library peaceful at all costs. This makes sense. I am pretty sure I believed this stereotype at one point in my life and didn’t think a thing of it. Now I get the “Where’s your glasses and bun?” comment every time I explain what I’m going to school for. Needless to say, this stereotype is turning out to be a little annoying.
Even if the stereotype sprang from truth at some point in time, in today’s newfangled libraries, many men and younger people are finding their calling in the stacks. In fact, there are ample amounts of information to explain this phenomenon. There was recently a New York Times article titled “A Hipper Crowd of Shushers” that talked about the changing demographic. It and other recent literature want to stress the “normalness” of the librarian position so it can continue to be an important part of the information world. I find this topic to be of great interest because it is such a big concern that very few people know about. If you find yourself intrigued and want to learn more I have included a few resources that go into depth about this subject.
Librarians in the Movies (2MB PPT file)
Jesella, K. (July 8, 2007). A Hipper Crowd of Shushers. The New York Times.
Walker, S. and Lawson, V.L. (1993). The Librarian Stereotype and the Movies. The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship, 1 (1), 16-28. Raish, Martin (1993).
Librarians in the Movies: An Annotated Filmography. Collection Management 17(3), 61-84.
You might find it interesting to view this short, 1946 vocational guidance film about librarians, and see what has changed about the job. YouTube has some other intriguing suggestions based on this one.
Amusing compliation of film clips about libraries and librarians.