The Tragic Optimist

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.

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16 Comments

  1. DoktorZoom

    Heh…if you like the XKCD skirt, you might also like this fine sartorial statement.

  2. Heather

    ::”I am Ann, and I am a sexy librarian!” And, you are also a rock star and my new hero! Very, very well said.

  3. LeAnn

    Woo-hoo, Ann! I love it! This is what a sexy librarian sounds and looks like.

  4. Alison

    LOL. Awesome post! You tell ’em!

  5. Jennifer

    I’m fired up, and I’m takin’ sexy back!! Go, Ann!

  6. Pat

    Since Palin is not a librarian the question whether she is sexy is moot. The Internet buzz over her being “hot” is gnerated from her glasses and hair style. That all said, Palin is pretty damn hot, librarian or not.

  7. Eh. Her being sexy has never been the question. I’m pretty sure it’s generated by the fact that she’s a relatively traditionally attractive woman. I don’t much give a damn about who finds her attractive. I think her hair and glasses are what’s behind the librarian buzz (and I hate that hair up + glasses = librarian). I just want people to stop calling her look “sexy librarian”. I don’t want librarian used as an adjective when describing someone who advocates banning books.

  8. Fer

    “I want … 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.”

    OK, now _that’s_ sexy…

  9. You go, girlfriend!!

    And, for the record, ‘sexy librarian’ is NOT the vibe I get from her. At all.

  10. Love this post! I always adore a good rant, and this one is well-written, funny, and right on. It was so great to see you, Chris, and Miss Z last week.

  11. May

    Now I really AM a sexy librarian. Complete with glasses, long hair I often wear up (especially in summer) and neat little cardigan. In a library. Cataloguing things and uniting enquiring minds with information.

    To my mind, any journalist who judges a candidate by their hair-do is no journalist.

  12. Amazing! I have oh-so-much respect for you. As a journalist, student of English, and MAJOR fan of all literature, I could never believe in book banning.

  13. I hope you realize that the “sexy librarian” reference is to the soft porn movies that Cinemax shows where the ‘sexy librarian’ with the hair up etc. takes it down, takes off the glasses and her clothes et cetera, et cetera. Jon Stewart made a similar reference when she was first picked.

    Sexy librarians, as all the cites above, have brains and look good in lots of other ways.

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