Friday, September 11, 2015

Not Your Bun-Haired Librarians Anymore!

            The stereo-typical librarian is often described as a dowdy-dressed, glasses-wearing, bun-haired, meek older woman.  Sometimes it’s hard to fight a stereotype, but, in this blog entry, I’m certainly going to try.  First, let’s address the meek part!  About 20 years ago, the Mississippi Library Commission asked the MS Legislature for twenty million dollars in bond funds to build new and/or renovate existing public libraries.  While the Legislature approved the request, the governor vetoed it.  For a “meek” librarian, that would have been the end of it!  But . . . fortunately for all Mississippians, Jane Smith was acting director of the MLC at the time.  She immediately sought the aid of some of the public library directors to organize a vote among the Legislature that would override the governor’s veto.  A massive campaign of talking to our Congressmen and demonstrating the need for better public libraries ensued.  The veto was overridden by three votes!  NOT your stereotypical meek little librarian. 

            The truth of the matter is that librarians have always been activists for the libraries.  We have long since had to fight for resources in ever-dwindling state and local funds.  We have fought for longer hours, more materials, and for the community itself. Each year, many Mississippi public librarians go to the Capitol building in Jackson for “pie day,” a day in which they advocate and remind our legislators that libraries need our “piece of the [funding] pie.”  #librarywarriors

Oh, yes, the way we dress!  Dowdy is not the way I would describe many librarians today.  While many of us are readers and do wear glasses, the glasses come in all shapes and forms and are often “cool-looking.”  My last pair of glasses, for example, were turquoise and purple!  My current pair is bright red.  My sunglasses are, of course, hot pink.

     And in these days of brightly hued hair, librarians have embraced the trend.  We sport all hairstyles in all colors—blue, green, purple, red, orange, and pink!  Some color all of their hair, while others go with colored streaks!  This is not to say that we have all embraced “neon” hair—many prefer their hair au natural—and that’s okay, too!

Fashion statements may include any style, any color combinations, and anything from six-inch heels to thigh-high boots to tennis shoes.  Anything goes!

Library fashion is second to none!

Sometimes we even go costume if there is a library program to be done! #librariansarefun

Oh, and the ink!  Librarians have definitely embraced body art.  Many now have colorful tattoos on various parts of their body.  In fact, there are some “awesome” librarian tattoos out there.  Check out the 24 most awesome here:

Photo courtesy of

The main point to this blog post is that librarians come in all shapes, sizes, ages, fashion senses, and personality types.  We can no longer be stereotyped.  However, there are certain characteristics that we do tend to share, no matter what field of librarianship we have chosen.  We are inquisitive, passionate about our work, dedicated to serving our communities, crusaders for causes we believe in, and love what we do.  We welcome all to the profession who share these traits.  #librarywarriors #librariansrock

1 comment:

Maggie Moran said...

Great article, Melissa!