The librarian look

Well.. I don`t think librarians will ever get our own show at the Paris Fashion Week, but that said I think it is interesting to see what people associate with librarians. I was preparing a class for tomorrow and I needed an image to one of the slides. I am going to say something about me being a liaison librarian, but I didn`t want a big picture of myself. SO.. I logged on to Colourbox and searched for “librarian”. That was funny (and a little depressing..). These are some of the pictures I found:

Now, to be fair I also found one or two of young, good looking girls (and one boy), but they are, without exception, holding or standing next to a stack of books. I understand that Colourbox needs to match searches to the stereotypes, but on a more serious note.. I think it does constitute a problem if people remain to see us only as the curators of books. I wish Colourbox would tag some of their images, like people searching databases, working on computers and so on, with the “librarian” tag.. Most of librarians look like “normal people”, guys.. It`s our Clark Kent, thing..

2 thoughts on “The librarian look

  1. ArenaCreative says:

    Creative keywording is very important – but the responsibility comes down to the individual photographers and graphic artists that contribute these images. I’ve been selling stock imagery for over 6 years now, and my abilities in keywording have come a very long way. You have to think outside the box when keywording, but not overcross the border or grey line of “spamming”. The only images a buyer is going to find are the ones you have keyworded properly. If an image can’t be found, it can’t be purchased… it’s as simple as that. I hope you found a better librarian shot! I’m going to look through my portfolio and add the word “librarian” to a few that I might have missed that could apply. As an image buyer, this little example also shows you that you need to diversify the way you search, as I’m sure you’ll find many more choices with different keywords.


  2. Karen Marie Øvern says:

    True – and I understand the line between findability and spamming, but my point was that the librarian stereotype is still very much connected to a physical library – the book – and that is not what most librarians do anymore.. and I think you just told a librarian to do a better search;-))

    Thanks for commenting!


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