Librarians checked out in 'Men of the Stacks' calendar
Group of male library workers bids to remake dowdy image of their profession with glamorous catalogue
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 September 2011 09.01 EDT
A group of male librarians is attempting to overthrow the cliché of the bespectacled, permanently shushing female library worker with the publication of a Calendar Girls-style calendar.
Featuring clothed as well as unclothed models, the "Men of the Stacks" 2012 calendar brings together 12 photographs of American librarians, from January's Zack (naked but for a strategically placed book, glasses, finger to his lips) to December's Gabriel (shirtless, brushing his teeth in the mirror). Its creators point out that the American library profession is 80% white and 72% female, with "tens of thousands of librarians expected to reach age 65 in the next five years".
"The Men of the Stacks project was first conceived a couple of years ago after learning of the publication of another library-themed calendar," they explain. "Our first reaction to that calendar? 'Well, cool but…where are all the men?'
"There is an entire population of professional librarians out there who disagree with the way the library profession is perceived in contemporary media outlets and in the historical consciousness of the American mind. Different people and different associations will use different means to try to change those perceptions. This is ours."
Von, a librarian, PhD student and June's (topless) model, said that "we can't just leave it to others to tell the people who we are; that's why the stereotypes about librarians continue to flourish. We have to be the ones to go out there and tell people who we are. It's not enough to complain about inaccurate images of librarians; we must be able to present alternative, positive images in movies, books and, yes, blogs." And, obviously, in calendars.
All proceeds from the $19.99 (£13) calendar will go to the It Gets Better project, an initiative established by author Dan Savage to let gay teenagers who are bullied about their sexuality know that life will improve.