Thursday, October 18, 2007

Clothing, "Librarian"

A librarian should never wear a t-shirt that has the word librarian on it. It's too obvious. Let your social awkwardness and appliquéd vest speak for themselves.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heh, nice marketing! :)

I must chime in that my own research into middle-class, white female ethnology has led me to discover a high correlation between Episcopalian women and the use of appliqued vests. So, while many librarians may wear vests, observers may find that this is because they also happen to belong to ECW.

I welcome further research into the snowman vest phenomenon in particular.

~Prof. von Cranmer

Booktender said...

I'd also like to chime in and ask for research into the phenomenon of Pumpkin, Jack-o-Lantern, and Christmas Tree vests. I'm particularly interested in any correlation between school and public libraries with particular focus on those who mostly serve users aged 12 and under those who mostly serve users over the age of 12.

An interesting comparison might also be between Episcopalian women and Lutheran Women (Wisconsin Synod)

And people say librarians don't do enough academic research!

Anonymous said...

You could also let your long, floral print skirt and mandatory tote bag speak for themselves.

Additionally, the hair styled in a bun is always, always, always a dead giveaway.

Anonymous said...

It is my dream that Stacy and Clinton will come to an ALA conference and do nothing but ambush people wearing appliqued vests, jumpers, and crepe-soled shoes. Alas, I fear they would be struck dumb the moment they set foot inside the exhibits hall.

Lindsey said...

One of my co-workers suggested that I dye my hair silver and wear it in a bun, so that faculty members would realize that I'm not a student. The tote bag doesn't really help in my case. But I'm going to have to try out the applique vest!

Anonymous said...

Do appliqued sweatshirts count? It's cold here and the vest alone doesn't do it for me.

Anonymous said...

All good ideas. One step further would be to have a closet dedicated to vests and cardigans that way you would never have to worry about not appearing as an uptight stereotypical librarian.
Also, try and keep from getting laid, that will help too.

Not Marian said...

Don't forget the theme earrings.

I quit wearing the appliqued vests years ago. But, as for tote bags...
I'm the tote bag queen.

Anonymous said...

Theme appliqued clothing, earrings, badges, necklaces with bells etc. were mandatory when I worked as a school librarian. I revolted and began working in a public library. Now they want me to wear t-shirts advertising the library and library programs. Of course we had to buy them ourselves. I revolted again and am now accused of not being a "team player".

ml said...

I second the vote to get Stacey and Clinton involved with the ALA conference! Actually, I've never been to the conference, but based on anecdotal research in my library system approximately 89.2% of librarians (of both genders) are in desperate need of some What Not to Wear guidance!

Lindsey said...

Yes, I agree. Is it possible to nominate an entire profession?

Anonymous said...

While not specifically for librarians, I do have this shirt... and I love wearing it.
http://www.nerdyshirts.com/women-nerdyshirts/reading-is-for-awesome-people-women#

I also have a "Librarians do it Quietly" shirt with a nice retro image on it. Unfortuantely, the site that sold them seems to no longer be in business.

Lisa said...

Booktender & Prof. vonC. - I did some research on seasonal clothing over 15 years ago and found it more common in the South than North, but I don't think I knew anyone in the upper Midwest to send my survey, so it's clearly time for a more rigorous study!

Observations made more recently, while I was substitute teaching, supports the thesis of a correlation between adults who wear them and the age of youth with whom they work.

Julie Z. said...

The follow up question to this is how to get friends and relatives to STOP buying you attire that has Librarian on it?!

Anonymous said...

can we start an email campaign to TLC to have Stacy and Clinton head to ALA next year? Yes, they would be overwhelmed but talk about job security!!

emmjon said...

Here's an idea. Leave a variety of vests, sweatshirts, floral skirts, themed earrings, librarian t-shirts etc in your locker. The go to work naked and choose whatever you want. That way, no one will care what you're wearing, as even an appliqued vest will be seen as an improvement. Also, discussions about your mental state amongst co-workers will help to distract them from your crushing social awkwardness.

Julia said...

Ha! My first MLS class, with an adjunct, spurred the following question: Which came first, the librarian or the jumper. Attending an AALL conference reinforced my observation of the frump factor in librarian attire.

Peter said...

How should a librarian wanna-be dress? I've seen variations of frumpy to street walker. In my library we have women who wear clothing/shoes that borderline stripper/street walker fashion. Should I assume they have a part time job elsewhere or figure its someone trying to get attention with their body? Or should I wave a dollar in their face and see what happens?

Anonymous said...

And I've always heard one should not judge a book by its cover? So why judge a librarian/ECW member by her (maybe his?) clothing!
I am a Pisky her and avid reader. MAK

Anonymous said...

So what about books and covers and judging? It happens; we're all human.
I say you're welcome to your appliqued vests, as long as they don't have puppies or kittens on them. Those are just too much to bear (I should add piglets, bearcubs, lambs and other newborn mammals to the list).

The vests are not limited to Episcopalians or to christians-I know several Jewish librarians who wear seasonal ones (no Xmas, though--but they do wear snowmen ones).

Susanne said...

Ha! Word. It's like going to a show and wearing the t-shirt of the band that is playing.

Erica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erica said...

I only wear my librarian t-shirt to non-library functions (yes, I attend some) and definitely never to work. It's a great conversation starter..."Oh your a librarian? I like books..."

Monster Library Student said...

Ha ha ha...that's like wearing a tshirt with a cat on it!

Kevin Musgrove said...

Is it too late for me to beg all the male librarians not to dress like streetwalkers?

I'm hoping this is a precautionary move on my part.

Anonymous said...

Dangling earrings do speak a million words... Earrings add so much to the day ! And, they could add up to a book full of thoughts, really...
Dangles accessorize just about any feeling, book, holiday, mood, one might have !
And, some women ONCE said that if we all dangle together we will have more momentum together as women!
As a former children's librarian, my world has now gone to the danlges.
Your dangle dream is my next design! I now work for you!
~ mochajavamamma in t-town http://www.tannenbaumearrings.com

"polite librarian" said...

So many comments to this post! Yet everyone failed to point out the irony of your cafe press link...

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Anonymous said...

Librarians and library workers tend to wear the following in regards to "library fashion":

Sweaters, preferably long cardigans.

Eyeglasses, if you wear them. 20/20 library folks can only wish.

Nerd-oriented t-shirts of any sort. Think of manga, Star Wars, Star Trek, and the like.

And, basically, anything that shows the eccentricities, because library workers tend to be, well, eccentric.