Thursday, 31 March 2011

Article: Media/Public Perceptions of Librarians

Representations of librarians by the mass media generally fall into one of five somewhat discrete categories. Public perceptions of librarians are somewhat different; although librarians are often described in positive terms, there is nearly no awareness as to the knowledge, duties, skills, and education of librarians and, as a consequence, public perceptions draw more heavily on stereotypical representations of librarians’ personalities. Ultimately, librarians and libraries tend not to be effectively utilized, as users remain unaware of librarians’ abilities and responsibilities.
Despite the variety in mediums and approaches, the ideas around librarians... can be classified into the following categories, which are not completely discrete: the old maid librarian, the policeman librarian, the librarian as parody, the inept librarian, and the hero/ine librarian.
The article goes on to expand upon these categories. This is a good but brief introduction to the ideas and examples of librarian stereotypes.

[ Read more of "Old Maids, Policeman, and Social Rejects: Mass Media Representations and Public Perceptions of Librarians" from Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, v.9 no.1 (Spring 2008) ]

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