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October 09, 2003

Nancy Pearl, Celebrity Librarian

"Librarian Makes a Big Noise" [NYT] - Nancy Pearl, whom I've mentioned before, is the model for the librarian action figure, source of controversy in librarian circles. She appears at NYPL's Mid-Manhattan Library branch, 455 Fifth Avenue, at 6 tonight. Wish I could go.

The article refers to the controversy: "The doll has caused a small furor in the more humorless reaches of librarianship for perpetuating the stereotype of the dowdy librarian." Again, I'd like to say that librarians do get the joke. The problem is, will non-librarians get it? How does the doll fight back against the stereotype by perpetuating it? The New York Times reporter congratulates herself and flatters its readers for being in on the joke, but there are still plenty of people who believe in the stereotype. And sadly, there are librarians who still perpetuate it themselves.

Of course, I still want to get one of the dolls.

Yours, &c., LC | 11:30 AM | Librariana | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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Well, I didn't go, but apparently the whole thing passed without incident. No riots by angry librarians!

Posted by: Mike at October 10, 2003 11:35 AM

...I do struggle whether I should sometimes keep these sort of jokes to myself and silently njuck over it, or go and enlighten those who won't get it. But then, that is what spoils the whole thing. Even though I am not a librarian (oh dang, outed!), I thought the doll a hilarious idea for far more aspects than just the librarian stereotype thing. Achach...

Posted by: mademoiselle a. at October 10, 2003 05:55 PM

Just came back from Seattle, where the bf and I made an Archie McPhee pilgrimage...I want one too! It's kitsch and nothing more. I wish people would be more concerned over more pressing librariana issues than this.........:)

Posted by: Sulkbrarian at October 25, 2003 02:00 AM

I am a librarian who began library work over 20 years ago. I rue the fact that libraries are often very noisy places. I agree, though, that a shushing librarian in dowdy clothing does nothing to improve the image of our profession.
These conflicting ideas are causing me some grief and discomfort nowadays.

I actually wear earplugs sometimes due to loud children and others in our libraries. Sometimes we do shush because disruptive behavior is a problem and actually not permitted, if we enforce our own rules. Can't people just behave themselves in public? When I began library work, they used to do so much better and parents used to actually parent.

Posted by: Judy at March 9, 2004 04:36 PM