Shhhhh!

You’ve heard the stereotypes for a librarian; the hair-in-bun, sensible shoes, cat loving, shushing ladies of the library. Recently, it seems every article or blog I read discusses these stereotypes. Diving deeper into the issue I find that my male colleagues suffer from their own set of “guy-brarian” stereotypes.

The Grand Rapids press published an article January 7, 2008 titled, “Modern librarians are hip, tech-savvy” that shines a little light on what we really do and how cool our job really is. In spite of appearing on U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Careers 2008” and Kiplinger’s “7 Great Careers for 2007” lists, librarians still encounter bias.

After some searching, I realized that this issue doesn’t fully apply to academic librarians. Even though I enjoy a good pair of Birkenstocks, I have never worn my hair in a bun, I am not a cat person, and I have never shushed anyone without good cause. I’m wondering if any of my fellow academic librarians, particularly the men out there, has been a victim of professional discrimination.

I work with two male librarians, and though they are very different, they may as well share one name. Has anyone had similar experiences? Does anyone have any good stereotypical stories to share? I know I could carry on, but I’d like to hear others’ anecdotes.

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3 Responses to “Shhhhh!”


  1. 1 john potter January 10, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Some people are not sure what to think about males librarians (15% of total). Do we fit into a single stereotype? I hope not– I view myself in a much more unique way–and in managerial terms if labels are to be applied.

    I’m guessing the character Giles on the Buffy series has had the most influence on male librarian stereotypes -both helpful and hurtful. Does classical music

  2. 2 john potter January 10, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    coming from my desktop fuel this same stereotype?

  3. 3 dana pawloski January 10, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    It’s true that men are typically in managerial roles in libraries and are perceived as “managers” as opposed to “librarians”. Perhaps this alleviates some bias?


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