I know sexy librarians. You, Governor, are no sexy librarian
Yesterday, I ran across a reference to VP candidate Sarah Palin asking the librarian about how to ban books, back when she (Palin) was mayor. I figured I ought to do a bit more research on whether that was true, and so googled for Sarah Palin librarian. I’m sorry I did. Most of the top hits were all about how Palin gives off sexy or naughty librarian vibes. Ugh. Ick. (Apparently Craig Ferguson started it by saying he got a naughty librarian vibe from Palin, but there’s a ton of other links making similar comments about her librarianishness).
I know part of my discomfort is due to the fact that I was checking out whether she was in to not letting others check out books (the banning books story appears to be true, though it sounds like she never followed through on trying to ban a book) – something a sexy librarian, or really any librarian for that matter, would. not. do. But there’s more to it than that. I hate that some woman – who is not a librarian – is described as “sexy librarian” because she wears her hair up and has glasses. I’m even a fan of the smart is sexy asthetic (for instance, the skirt- the second item on this page – is hawt), but updos and glasses do not a smart and sexy person make. A woman does not a librarian make (because why is it that only women with glasses are told they have a sexy librarian look? Men can be damn sexy librarians, too).
It takes a lot more, and I want to take the image of sexy librarian back! I want it to be the person who can find what you need, who can juggle and evaluate and sift through and sort through and organize so much information your head spins, and then shows you the best of the best and a couple of great ways to keep on searching should you need to find more. With a smile. Who can pull the right book off the shelf and get to the right page before your web browser has finished opening up. Who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about who you are or why you’re searching, they just want to help you as best they can. Hear that? No overly polished politician banning books. No woman with only a nice pair of glasses (though I’ll admit here that I do love a nice pair of glasses – don’t actually care much for Palin’s, now that I think about it, though, but that’s way beside the point). No. A sexy librarian is someone who wants people to be able to find the information they need, when they need it. Who thinks that information should be available and easy to locate. Who doesn’t withhold information from people because they’re afraid of what people might learn.
So all you sexy librarians out there (and you know you’re all sexy – or naughty, we’ll accept naughty), let’s reclaim that image as our own. Call Palin an attractive politician, a funny-looking lady, a sexy Alaskan. I don’t really care so much about whether the adjectives apply, at least the nouns are true. I am Ann, and I am a sexy librarian! And Palin’s not.