Debunking the Library Trope, Back to School, and the Arab American Book Award


I was recently hired as the Junior and Senior High School Librarian in my hometown, at the school I attended back in the day. I have spent this week at a variety of new teacher orientation events and comments, along with questions, made me think about the stereotypes surrounding librarians.

Let’s face it, even as librarians we have, or have had in the past, a certain image that comes to mind when thinking “librarian.” For me, it has always been similar to the Nancy Pearl action figure, see here. Aside from the shushing librarian, there are two main tropes, the Scary Librarian and the Hot Librarian. Though I can be quiet at times, I don’t require others to be quiet; I live with 2 children under 3 at this point, be real. So, I am not a shushing librarian. I won’t “freak out if you talk in the library, fail to return a book on time, or God forbid, spill something on it.” I will not shush you or start screaming and kick you out of the library and for those reasons, along with the fact that I am just 5’3” and a tad over 100 pounds, I am certainly not a Scary Librarian.

So what’s left, Hot Librarian? Ok, let’s break that down. I do have glasses, but if I take those off to hold them suggestively in my mouth, I can’t see past the tip of my nose. I may wear a skirt but more often you’ll catch me in khakis and a cardigan (without the top button busting off). My hair is hardly long enough to pinch let alone put in a bun, so there will be no letting my hair down, so I am not the Hot Librarian and I am not the Scary Librarian. What am I?

I am a teacher. Like my colleagues, I paid for, took, and passed our state’s teacher certification tests. I am here to help educate our students.

I have a Master’s degree. I spent 4 years in undergrad and 1 year in graduate school working towards my degree.
I am available to help students and staff navigate and evaluate the enormous amounts of information bombarding us daily and, if they so desire, I can help find them a great book to read.

I am friendly and likely to be shushed by a someone much more worried about a quiet library than myself.
I want you to check out the books. Read them while you eat breakfast or are on the bus to your soccer game. A book is meant to be used.

I am energetic and not likely to be found behind a desk.

Like everyone else, I cannot be categorized so don’t try. I work as a librarian but that does not define me nor does it mean to the same thing it might have when the quiet or scary librarian stereotype was defined. Oh, and no, there is no card catalog.


Evil Librarian
By: Michelle Knudsen

He is young. He is hot. He is also evil. He is ……. the librarian. Cynthia’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, but after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes… or the blood and horns and bat-like wings that appear when he thinks no one is looking. He’s a demon… and now Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!  Ages 12-18

The Library Dragon
By: Carmen Agra Deedy

Miss Lotta Scales is a dragon who believes her job is to protect the school’s library books from the children, but when she finally realizes that books are meant to be read, the dragon turns into Miss Lotty, librarian and storyteller.  Ages 3-8


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