One of my recurring obsessions (that is to say, I get crazy about it for a few weeks and then forget it for a while only to come back to it later) is fashion. I recently decided that I would start a blog to chronicle my attempts to express myself through my appearance. One thing I wanted to address was the librarian stereotype; so I thought I’d explore the place where fashion and librarianship intersect, if it exists. Any time I decide on a new project, research is the first (and often only) phase. So I set out to find information about stereotypes about librarians, and happened upon Ruth Kneale’s You Don’t Look Like a Librarian.

In this book, Kneale chronicles librarians' own obsession with their image and makes suggestions for how to deal with people who say “But you don’t look like a librarian!” (Why don’t you look like a librarian? My problem is my lack of glasses.) She also provides a vast survey of the resources available for exploring this topic further.

This is a fun little book (and Liz B. of Tea Cozy wrote the forward!) but its companion website is even better than the book itself, because it offers links to all the different resources mentioned in the book.

I recommend this for anybody who wants an overview of stereotypes of librarians and how actual librarians respond to them.

My favorite part, of course, was when the book addressed the topic of Rupert Giles, who is my librarian role model. (I like to imagine if Giles and Jenny Calendar traveled back in time to 1981 and had a kid together, she’d be me.)

Book: You Don’t Look Like a Librarian Author: Ruth Kneale Publisher: Information Today, Inc. Original Publication Date: March 2009 Pages: 216 Source of Book: Borrowed from library Buy it (affiliate links): IndieBound - Powell’s

Photograph by L. Marie