Hi, my name is Maria Atilano and I’m a librarian. No, my hair isn’t in a bun; no, I don’t have a crazy-amount of cats; and no, I won’t cut you if you return a book late.
Pop Goes the Librarian began as a project for my Social Media Management class in the Summer of 2012. It was a great experience, and as a result I’ve decided to continue the project on my own time.
This blog is dedicated to the interesting, and oftentimes bizarre, subject surrounding the pop culture librarian. Librarians are often typecast as older, bookish spinsters with a staggering amount of cats and a tendency to hush anyone who speaks above a whisper. Unfortunately, this dominant stereotype is highly visible in popular culture, which is why the “librarian” character is so often used in media, oftentimes for comedic relief. As this blog will address, however, there are some wonderfully unique librarians presented in works of fiction which point to the diverse nature of the profession. Therefore, the key message of my proposed blog is that not every librarian is the sweet and naive Marian from The Music Man. They also include librarian-by-day, vampire-hunter-by-night Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the orangutan Librarian from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series: two figures that at times wink at the standard librarian stereotype, but happen to be so much more.
My main objective is to profile these individual librarians in order to analyze their attributes and how they may (or may not) play into the stereotype. The emphasis on popular culture is an important one in that the blog will certainly address the informal consensus that has been formed about the library profession as a whole. I will scour examples found in film, television and literature in order to dedicate one post to each librarian, while also comparing them to characters similar in appearance and countenance. Blog posts will include images, quotes, and background information, as well as a detailed description about how I (as a librarian) feel the character represents the profession, whether it be positively or negatively. So I will not run out of characters in the near future, I will also include shorter posts with memes, images and/or videos that depict librarians in and out of their element.