Friday, August 11, 2006

On an Underrepresented Minority in Librarianship

The Annoyed Librarian is very concerned about a serious problem in the field of librarianship--the problem of underrepresented minorities. She as much as anyone wants to see the field of librarianship absolutely representative of the American population as a whole, because she knows, as you know in your hearts, that if absolute proportional representation isn't achieved, it's because Evil People have been oppressing Good People. And the Annoyed Librarian doesn't like Evil People!

And what is this minority group that has for so long been absent from the glorious field of librarianship?

Well, I've been reading another library blog where the blogger is talking about the lack of representation of her minority group in libraries. She wants to see more people like herself and make sure they're out. Yada, yada, yada. People always seem to want to see more people like themselves. How provincial. But I would like to discuss a group that I would like to see more of in librarianship: good-looking, heterosexual males. Where are the attractive straight guys, that's what I'd like to know?

I mean, seriously, were I to look around my library for a date, which I probably wouldn't do, what would I see? "Pleasantly plump" middle-aged white women. Sure, plenty of them are nice enough, but do I really want to invite any of them back to my place for a bottle of wine? Do I want to take a stroll though the park or a trip to the beach with them? Nope.

Aren't there any men, you ask? Sure, a handful. But they're all gay, even the married ones. Or they're really old and seedy looking. Or they suffer from the masculine variety of Librarian's Bottom. Or they haven't washed their hair in a week. Or they dress like hippies on laundry day. Or they just have "I'm a spindly geek who'd rather mindmeld with my hard drive than talk to a woman" written all over them.

I want Cary Grant, I get Rip Taylor.

I go to the ALA conference, and what do I see? The same thing! The only good-looking straight men work for the vendors. There's that guy from Proquest, for example. Growl! But who knows where these vendor people live!

This is yet another problem I think the ALA should try and fail to solve. I know, I know, people have been complaining about librarianship as a feminized profession forever. But who's done anything about it? No one, that's who! I want to see active recruitment by the ALA and by library schools. I want there to be promotional posters saying things like, "Are you a hot straight guy? Then you should become a librarian!" I want celebrity read posters with topless women to attract the straight guys. I want to go to ALA and be surrounded by 6'4" Adonises. And then I want to return to my library and "team teach" a few BI classes with them.

Straight men--the forgotten minority in librarianship! If people really wanted to fight for underrepresented minorites in our field, that's the fight they'd be fighting. I see these library job ads with the standard EEOC disclaimer, "women and minorities are encouraged to apply." More women! Is that what we really need? I want to see disclaimers that read, "Straight males, preferably good-looking, are encouraged to apply." And regarding minorities, I'm not prejudiced. White, black, yellow, red, brown, I don't really care. That's not the crucial minority. The crucial minority is: Hot. Straight. Guys. Any race, creed, color, or ethnicity will do.

And believe it or not, I'm being completely selfless here, because if it happened, it wouldn't really matter for me. You see, I don't date librarians.

31 comments:

Cincinnati NAMjA said...

I have got to agree with you. I am a 28 yr old gay black male who has worked in the libraries on and off for the past decade and have yet to see w really attractive STRAIGHT male as a co worker. I guess librarians are not where the JOCKS or super models hang out....go figure.

Anonymous said...

Boy, you aren't kidding. I went to MLA and the only two straight men there were married. Cute single male librarians are like unicorns and as rare as a good looking normal girl at a Star Trek convention. The few male librarians that I know that are single and cute know that they are single and cute, and therefore act like narcisistic asses. Not to go off on a mini-rant, but these men are not really that gorgeous, but compared to what else is available they look like Armani models. But I'm with you, I don't know if I could date one if it came to it.

Taupey, the Bush Kangaroo said...

If you could package an MLS as a cross between Computer Science, Marketing and Literature, you might get the relatively hot males not outgoing enough for sales jobs, and not quite bright enough for an MBA or a JD. (Which isn't saying much outside of top 20 schools).

It would seem there is a cohort of men who are off put by the smelliest IT geeks and similarly offended by the flaming types of the MLA. What is sorely needed is more of the Pam Anderson "Stacked" type media influence that suggests libraries are full of hot women who are too good, honest and true to work in publishing and focused enough on a career to eschew working at Borders for the discount.

The classic imagery of the pin being pulled from the hair bun and the glasses coming off to reveal a hot woman already exists--it should be exploited to um "fill" this empty "void" you have so ably characterized.

Perhaps funds could be extracted from the ALA to put up a pornographic website marketed to college men? There could also be crude jokes about George Bush. "Freedom of information," left wing politics and librarian porn. The perfect storm.

P.B.I. Librarian said...

Not that I'm the greatest looking man in the universe, but I could have really cut a swath through library school last year. Compared to the Birkenstock-wearing, acne infested hippies, skinny colorless nerds with bad haircuts and greasy glasses, and pussified bearded hornrim wearers, I looked pretty damn good. Or so I was told, on several occasions.

If only I were single...

tomeboy55 said...

Here be I ; )

This straight/athletic guy got into the library business because he's always loved research and reading. While playing collegiate baseball and tennis, I worked shuffling interlibrary loan books in the university library. Not a bad gig I thought. Off to library school, MLS in hand and here I am some 10 years in a academe.

Do I ever feel a bit "uneasy" about the reputation of men in my profession? Nah. But then again I really don't match the personality type of the archetypal librarian. Still a jock, no precocious cats, no sci-fi etc.. So, speaking for this guy, there are still few of us around.

tomeboy

Anonymous said...

Another underrepresented minority are conservative and moderate librarians. Oh they're out there among the rank & file & may even prove to be the majority of librarians, but they are underrepresented on ALA's governing council & other positions of leadership. The more diverse they are the better: white or black, male or female, big bottoms or small bottoms. Makes no difference to me.

Alexandra said...

I knew a good-looking straight reference librarian once. But he married a cataloger. Hmph.

Useless Info Always said...

Guess there won't be any "Librarian Guys Gone Wild!" dvds anytime soon...just as well, it might be less than 20 minutes.

Degolar said...

I'm married and a little overweight, but I claim to be a youngish, straight, male librarian (in youth services, no less). I'm definitely aware of my minority status at every library gathering I attend.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. I remember working for a vendor of library services after years as a librarian and nearly passing out the first day when 3 male employees stepped on the elevator with me. I'd forgotten. . .

The Hag said...

Well, I'm all for improving the scenery, but at some point you'd have to stop drooling and TALK to them, and a librarian conversation would pretty much kill any date.

Give me a nice electrician or car mechanic or plumber -- male of course -- any day.

Dr. Reference said...

Where are all the hot library science single women? I landed in graduate school straight from the US Army. (I could bench press 225lbs for 10 reps --well short of the NFL record of 42; but pretty good for an aspiring librarian-- and run a six minute mile)and soon found out that the very few attractive library school women were already married. The single Library Science women were well on their way to spinsterhood and big bottoms. Since I had a grad assistantship in the university ref. dept. I was quickly able to deduce that the most hottest/passionate women were it be found in the the Dept. of Modern Languages and the School of Nursing. I shopped around and eventually married a hot tamale professor of Spanish. We've been married for 15 years and she's still H.O.T.!

P.B.I. Librarian said...

Another Soldier-Librarian! That makes what, three of us?

I had a few HOTTIES in library school with me. The majority, though, would have to take two trips if you told them to haul ass.

Norma said...

Hey, I've been advertising for a daughter-in-law at my blog, and no hot young female librarians have applied. He's 37, handsome, 6'1", divorced, no children, an auto mechanic, and doesn't read in his free time, to my knowledge. (Don't believe that myth about reading to children.) And if you hurry, he has no debt. Of course, you get me as a mother-in-law! Cruise my blog--I've got a photo of him in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I work in a city because I know I'll never meet the cute straight man at work. But I've got to think part of the problem about luring them into this profession goes back to what Dr. Reference writes. Hell, the first few years out of library school I nearly cracked after seeing one too many airbrushed kitty sweatshirts. The last ALA librarians kept asking me if I was a vendor. They didn't even recognize me as one of their own.

Anonymous said...

I'm a straight (married) decent looking male librarian, and I'll admit that there aren't a lot of us around. The only other male in the building is an old guy (who seems a little off).

But there aren't a lot (or actually any) good looking female librarians in the whole system as far as I can tell. The myth of the hot librarian with the naughty horn-rimmed glasses is just a myth-sigh.

AL said...

That is just a myth. I, for example, don't own any naughty horn-rimmed glasses.

Eilan said...

Well, it's the same sad thing in Germany. Believe me. There were 2 kind of good looking guys at my library school, both had girlfriends.
And at work now, there is not one male librarian!!

When you look around in libraries, for some reason, it's mostly men who have the director jobs. Why is that?

Eilan

Anonymous said...

Dear Eilan,

the answer is: Frauenförderplan. Not more and not less.

Anonymous said...

interesting, then I guess this really cute guy librarian at my library I pay such frequent visits too is as rare as he seems :) If only I were single lol

Anonymous said...

Talking about German libraries... I am Systems Librarian in Munich and I haven't seen a cute girl working around here in 2 years! Neither did I in 4.5 years MLS classes. So what's that all about? I am male, I am not gay, non of my male colleagues are gay, I don't even know a gay male librarian, but I've seen a thousand reasons why male librarians might become gay. Sorry ladies, but you are the reasons that there are no dates for you at your workplaces (and probably not even in the outside world).

brian said...

What? The AL is running a dating service now? Jesus, ""team teach" a few BI classes"-- that's just too much!

Anonymous said...

Haha! That was so funny! Yes, it's true that there are not hot male librarians. When I was at ALA D.C., that's exactly what was missing. Yep, some of the vendors were hot, but do you really want to date the guy from Valueline? I mean, please...

Maybe we should start a hot guy recruitment.

Anonymous said...

With all this whining about the lack of hot straight male librarians I'm wondering what does AL or any of the other complaining librarians look like? AL carps that most female librarians are not the most attractive bunch and then jaws on about the lack of hot male librarians. This is annoying and easy to do when you are afraid to reveal your own fabulous identity or what you look like. Why not put your face where your mouth is? It is time for the big reveal.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well...I am glad I stumbled upon this.

I am a 31 year old, tall (6'0") moderately good-looking STRAIGHT reference librarian at a public library.

I will admit, I do kind of feel uneasy being a male in a female dominated profession. I also agree that atleast 1/3 to 1/2 of male librarians are indeed gay.

As for attractive female librarians in grad school: You are right P.B.I librarian, there are FEW AND FAR between.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not I've dated, married, divorced and partnered 3 different straight male librarians. Exhubby was hot but an ass and exboyfriend was very, very hot but not able to "fall in love".

Of course the best of the lot is the one I'm with now!

From,
Middle aged, plumb white typical midwest academic librarian!

Anonymous said...

There are lots of hot, sexy, intelligent, sweet single women in the library profession. Sure, they may be a little few and far between but the ratio of straight single men to straight single women is so much in the guys' favor it's really not hard for a straight male librarian to meet cute female librarians if the guy is at least decent-looking, manly but not sexist, and assertive.

I was single when I went to library school and had an awesome time socially. I was surrounded by beautiful intelligent women who made the ridiculousness of some of the classes more tolerable and who enhanced the quality of the academically legitimate classes (yes, that's right, my library school did actually have a few academically legitimate classes.)

When I was single I used to love going to library conferences in that it was always easy to find cute intelligent women to hang out with, have lunch and dinner with, etc. I'm now happily dating an extremely sexy, brilliant, artistic and creative reference librarian whom I met at my state library association's conference.

I love working in libraries for lots of reasons, including all the standard intellectual ones, but the presence of cute, smart women has always been a plus.

I hope no one gets pissed off at me because my experience has apparently differed from that of others, but if they do so be it. I call it like I see it.

Anonymous said...

You're absolutely right. Out of the four male librarians that have positions at my library three of them are gay. Me included. It's funny though, there aren't any hot guys in the library I work for, but just take a one hour drive up north and you'll find yourself immersed in an oasis of male beauty. Life is so unfair.

Anonymous said...

This article/thread is old but also wholeheartedly agree and cannot help post. I will soon graduate from a graduate library program (technically I am an archivist) and I am having a hell of time trying to find a job. I have a few internships under my belt and a couple of years experience. Other than that, my work experience is bluecollar "man work"... I am a heterosexual male (why does orientation/gender even matter) and I do feel like both men and women in the profession do not want my kind. Oh well. I won't give up.

Anonymous said...

I got such a kick reading this blog. As a straight male former librarian, I can say without any doubt that straight male librarians are basically not welcomed in this profession. And if you are married with children, that's even worse.

A gay and lesbian bias exists in librarianship that in my experience is just as detrimental as the standard forms of bias that exist in the workplace. Some people who have alternative lifestyles, and there are many in the library profession, feel that they are beyond workplace bias.
They cloak themselves in
a "liberal" ideology, but in the final analysis their actual behavior to others - who fall outside of their group-is just as ugly.

Further, some straight men who become librarians leave the profession to earn higher incomes.
What person man or woman, gay or straight, would go into or stay in a profession that pays so poorly, particularly if one needs to bring home a paycheck to support a family.

Most of the straight guys who would even consider librarianship, opt for hardcore computer science, software and programming jobs that pay more money and accord them alot more respect.

As for myself,I lucked out, I am married to a very hot accountant. She brings home the real bacon.....and she likes they way I cook it. Actually my new job is Mr. Mom and I am loving it....and when I do go back to work, it won't be as a librarian.

Anonymous said...

Reagarding the gay and lesbian bias that the last post describes; This may be some truth to this. but one thing I can say, many males, straight or not, have and continue to develop the computer software and hardware that is driving enormous change in our field. Many men and women, straight or not who hold finance MBA's and other business credentials are advising university administrators that librarians - in the digital age - are simply not a good investment anymore. Sad but true, the library profession has lost alot of substance. Perhaps this is due to the fact many of us including my self, studied French, English or some other subject that was not as difficult as perhaps software engineering or mathematics One of my co-workers actually told me she decided on librarianship because she felt more comfortable working with women; and gay men she opined "can be handled". One bright straight male with a computer science background was so ignored during staff meetings that he decided that it was time for a change. He is now working for Google. I do miss him: he was cute and he had a great sense of humor. Not only is he making a great living, I have heard from a mutual friend that he is dating a female programmer he met at Google. Oh Well !