September – October 2005

The Myth of the Librarian
Hair pulled back into a severe bun, cardigan sweater, glasses and sensible shoes. The librarian has been stereotyped almost since the beginning of the profession. While there is always some truth in a stereotype, the reality is much more dynamic and diverse than the mousey spinster shushing people in the stacks.

Today, librarians represent every part of our society. Nowhere is that diversity more evident than in the professional association. With more than 64,000 members, the American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world. ALA supports every facet and interest with eleven membership divisions, 17 round tables and 130 discussion groups. This size and diversity enables ALA to reach a broad audience.

In this exhibit, we are exploring the image of the librarian as a historic figure, an educator, an activist, a trendsetter and a pop-culture icon.