The Sexy Librarian
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The Sexy Librarian. “Knowledge Is Power!”. Begin. Librarians carry with them a plethora of images and stereotypes.

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The Sexy Librarian

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The sexy librarian

The Sexy Librarian

“Knowledge Is Power!”

Begin


The sexy librarian

Librarians carry with them a plethora of images and stereotypes.

Female librarians, especially with the assistance of the media and the advertising boom beginning in the 20th century, have a few distinct (and distinctly different) images and stereotypes that accompany their profession.

Aren’t we, as librarians, supposed to be the reclusive bookworms of the world? A bit stuffy and humorless? Prim and proper with glasses and buns?

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The sexy librarian

However, all images that accompany the idea of librarians are not as negative as the uptight shusher.

Librarians are often depicted as artsy. Sometimes quirky.

And one of the most prevalent images of the librarian is that of the sexy librarian.

This idea, though presented in many different ways, seems to be timeless. It has been around for decades and appears to be an image that female librarians simply cannot shake--whether or not they would like to!

Check out this magazine advertisement from 1967. This wasn’t the beginning of the sexy librarian, and the idea is still around!

The sexy librarian image presents itself in with many variations. Continue to explore the many facets of the sexy librarian stereotype!

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“The Sexy Librarian”

The “Naughty by Night” Librarian

The “Hipster”

Librarian

The “Rebel”

Librarian

So…What?


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The “Hipster” Librarian

"As a general rule, librarians are a kick in the pants socially, often full of good humor, progressive, and, naturally, well read.” --Bill Hall

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The hipster librarian tends to be the embodiment of “geek chic.”

She is trendy and classy, yet edgy. She is tech savvy and sociable. She is a bookworm, and somehow that is sexy.

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Often bespectacled and conservatively dressed, the hipster librarian may not be the first image that comes to mind in association with sex appeal. However, the hipster librarian’s artsy “girl next door” image is an especially popular image of the sexy librarian in current pop culture.

Even “Unshelved,” the comic about librarians, includes a hipster librarian character!

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The “Naughty by Night”

Librarian

"Libraries are brothels for the mind. Which means that librarians are the madams, greeting the punters, understanding their strange tastes and needs and then pimping out their books.” --Guy Browning

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The “Naughty by Night” librarian is likely the first image that comes to mind with the phrase “sexy librarian.”

This brand of sexy librarian is the subject of naughty stories and films, and she is depicted in vintage pin-ups as well as modern photographs. Judging from all of these factors (as well as plenty of talk on the internet) she is the subject of more fantasies than many of us would like to know!

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The “Naughty by Night” librarian is also a staple of the advertising industry.

The “Librarian by day, Bacardi by night” advertisement shown doesn’t even use the typical librarian image to make its point. Instead, it merely plays on the irony of the seemingly straight-laced professional who has to break out of her shell while she can.

The advertisement shown on the right, for Pharos Afrikaans-English dictionaries, depicts a conservatively dressed librarian. However, it is clear that there is nothing demure about her. She appears to be strong and in charge of her situation. This “closet sexpot” type of librarian is one of the most commonly used images of librarians in popular culture.

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The “Rebel” Librarian

“But despite the meek, shush-shushing stereotype, librarians are largely a freedom-upholding, risk-taking group.” --Linton Weeks

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The “rebel” librarian is sexy because of her strength. The rebellious variation of the sexy librarian is not necessarily controversial in her appearance, but she does not conform to the prim and proper, uptight, and mild standards that many seem to expect of librarians.

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The rebellious style of sexy librarian is noted for her intelligence as well as her independence. She is creative and bold, and a new development of the sexy librarian image!

Take, for example, this calendar. Tattooed female members of the Texas Library Association came together to make a calendar full of sassy photos of “well-read and well-illustrated” librarians. Only a little research was needed to learn that this isn’t the only project along these lines. The rebellious sexy librarian is not just an image that many librarians are accepting, but it is one that they are boasting about!

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What Does This

Mean For Librarians?

The fact that the stereotype of the sexy librarian is more present in popular culture than, say, the sexy mechanical engineer, indicates that librarianship is one of the few “intellectual” professions that is primarily female in the popular consciousness.

Librarians fall into the same social construct as nurses--the automatic assumption is that they will be female. And just as the promiscuous nurse “takes care” of her patients, the patron oriented nature of the librarian’s profession naturally puts female librarians in the position to fill the role of the sexy-geek-archetype.

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While many librarians are sure to find the sexy librarian image demeaning, I believe that with the right spin female librarians can use this image and preconception to their advantage!

I believe that this notion allows for a great amount of individuality and independence for female librarians.

Librarians hold one of the few “sexy” female stereotypes in which the attraction lies, at least partially, in intelligence. I think that female librarians should feel empowered by this long lasting depiction of their profession--it obviously isn’t going anywhere!

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With a little class, creativity, and positivity, I think that female librarians can take full advantage of their sexy image.

For female librarians, knowledge really can be power!!

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