“Librarians would climb in cultural and economic value if Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep clamored to play exciting, complex librarians having love affairs and promoting information literacy in major cinematic roles” (Roberto and West 92). Whether it is the sexy librarian stereotype or the “fussy old woman of either sex,” the library profession is obsessed with the way that librarians are seen by the public. For better or for worse, librarians give a lot of power to these images that are created by others. Our obsession with image and the collection of these good and bad portrayals by those within the profession serves only to reinforce stereotypes and even to promote the idea of victimization (Luthman 778). While there is a never ending discussion about the images of librarians that exist in popular culture, very few librarians have suggestions for what to do to change the stereotypes.
Protesting and criticizing do nothing to change people’s perceptions, nor does ignoring the problem and doing nothing. The only solution is for librarians to do something, to act and to make things change. Once again, we defer to one of the few groups that is trying to make a difference in the way librarians are perceived, the Men of the Stacks:
“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” (Men of the Stacks).