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The Image of Librarians and the Librarian's Image  

LI PopCon April 16, 2015
Last Updated: Apr 16, 2015 URL: Print Guide
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Librarians & libraries in visual media


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Three questions about occupational stereotypes

Three questions to ask about librarian stereotypes:


1. Are librarian stereotypes and images of librarians in popular culture more negative, more pervasive, or more complex than other occupational stereotypes?  Is there anything substantially different about this particular occupational stereotype?

2. Why are librarians concerned about our image?  Would it be fair to see we are overly concerned or preoccupied with it? 

3. Do librarian stereotypes, which are gendered, racialized, and classed, tell us more about cultural beliefs and societal ideologies related to those categories than they tell us about popular perceptions of the work that we do and the profession itself?  In other words, do occupational stereotypes in general arise from the systems of gender, race, and class?  Is one of the functions of these stereotypes to maintain the political economy of power surrounding these categories of identity?  Do they provide ideological support to the systems of power and control which benefit some groups of people over others?


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