Mouser in Dusty Books?

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By , June 1, 2011 1:47 pm

by Kerry Fitz-Gerald

The stereotype of the puritanical, bun-wearing, shush-wielding librarian has been around for a long time. Even Melville Dewey, who you’d think would have known better, apparently once described librarians as mousers in dusty books. But it seems like maybe things are changing.

A master’s thesis that I came across recently investigated the portrayal of librarians in romance novels between 1980 and 1995. The conclusion: librarians were portrayed as youthful, attractive, well-dressed, and comfortable with members of the opposite sex.  

If you’re interested in reading more–I particularly liked the first section in which the author criticized other librarians for writing (and whining) about our image–check out Margaret A. Elliot, The Librarian’s Stereotyped Image in Romance Novels, 1980-1995: Has the Image Changed?

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