Librarians to get makeover

Wellington City LibraryIn an effort to rid librarians of the prim, proper, fusty, and matronly stereotype the national library conference later this month is dragging out Paula Ryan, the doyen of “what to wear” and “what not to wear”.

So, I’m guessing she’ll be telling librarians to:

  • stop wearing your hair in a bun
  • stop wearing those 53 denier pantyhose/stockings
  • wear a colour other than grey
  • and preferably not hand knitted
  • swap the pince-nez glasses for a designer brand of bi-focals
  • speak in a friendly tone

As a late comer to the enormous benefits of using a public library (I visit every Wellington City Library every Saturday morning with my kids) I have never seen any librarian that needed a fashion consultant to tell them what to wear.

This from the Sunday Star Times this morning:

In an email to librarians on Wednesday, the Library and Information Association’s communications co-ordinator Megan Mathieson said the workshop was “a not-to-be-missed opportunity to be inspired and challenged by New Zealand’s pre-eminent style guru”.

“Librarians,” she says, “have a very conservative and dated image: if we want to transform our profession then surely we must start by transforming ourselves?”

Megan Mathieson is an Australian, who only settled in New Zealand last year. Perhaps librarians are really badly dressed in Australia – tell me, where are the conservatively dressed librarians in New Zealand?

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3 thoughts on “Librarians to get makeover”

  1. My librarian friends are among the hippest fashionistas I know. Perhaps Paula Ryan should ask them for some advice.

  2. Have these people been to a library recently?

    The library I work at is hardly ‘conservative’. One librarian has a shaved head and you can always tell she’s about from the sound of her combat trousers sweeping together. Another is a goth, and I’ve been known to wear the occasional heavy metal t-shirt; hardly the stereotypical librarian.

  3. Hi Craig

    Thanks for the comment. I don’t know of the Library Conference has happened yet, or if Paula Ryan has imparted her good sense to you and other librarians. In no time at all she’ll have you dressed in a tailored suit and matching tie… 🙂

    What rubbish!

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