Sunday, October 15, 2006

Questions for Discussion

Librarians and Party Girls

In light of Levy’s Scrolling Forward do you notice any parallels between his Whitman/Dewey framework and this article. Could “party girls” be seen as a Whitman style personality, taking life as it comes and celebrating all aspects of it? Conversely, are all librarians necessarily Dewey clones, obsessed with order and time management?

What implications does this stereotype of librarians as frumpy, unapproachable, prudes have on our profession? Is there anyway to alleviate this stereotype in popular culture? What is the best strategy to accomplish this?

How do male librarians fit into this stereotype? How does popular culture view the male librarian?

Looking at the websites discussed in this article, librarians seem to appreciate humor. What does this characteristic say about how librarians view their own profession? How do librarians see themselves? How do they define themselves and their profession?

2 Comments:

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Belle And Sebastian said...

Inasmuch as Party Girl was not a major box office smash, I do not see the film as having a massive impact on our image. However I do think it is a statement about how librarians might see themselves in some respects and how a woman might generally be forced to conform to one role or the other (party girl or librarian, but never both (ie - multi-dimensional) if she is to be truly viewed as professional. It seems that the outside appearance always matters more to professions deemed "woman's work" and I think that was a central theme to this movie - she hadn't really made it, until she looked, acted and performed the part. Would the same be true for a man if he was the main character of the movie?

 
At 12:00 PM, Blogger Becky Jean said...

Party Girl may not have been a box office smash, but what about other media or literature portrayals. One that immediately came to mind was a skit on "All That." The 90s Nickelodeon version of SNL. A frequent skit involved a hyperbolic librarian constantly yelling for patrons to "Be Quiet." It was humorous, but still reinforced the idea. Also, literature portrayals of librarians are also less than flattering. A study is published here: http://www.valinor.ca/el3.htm

On how to combat it: Maybe we need to produce more images and stories like these: http://www.iamalibrarian.com/

 

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