Having mentioned the misguided image that many non-users have of modern libraries, I realised that it seemed connected to the stereotype of the librarian – which most people still seem to have in their head as a spinster of indeterminate age, wearing glasses, hair up in a bun, and loudly going SHUSH! with the prune-face of an unhappy school teacher.
Books, Glasses, and A Shushing Action Figure.
action figure you see is of Nancy Pearl
OK, OK, maybe you don’t have that image in your head, but most people appear to, including film makers, authors, and others, who manifest and perpetuate stereotypes.
the librarian stereotype and the movies
quotations about librarians
Online librarians have tackled this question frequently, but generally the UK seems to have less online presence than the USA and OZ, etc. Things have started to change. You can find a few links below, which might give you an idea or two…
Librarian Stereotype Survey: Highlights
Rejecting The Stereotypical Librarian Image
The belly-dancing librarian offers further links to people breaking the stereotype
Macho Librarians with Guns
(oh yes, did I forget to mention some librarians do have a sense of humour?)
The Laughing Librarian
Exploiting "Sexy Librarian" Stereotype For Giggles and Personal Gain
And the radicals...
BUY THE T-SHIRT (and other cool stuff)
Library Underground's shop
Warrior Librarian's shop
You Don’t Look Like a Librarian
Ambigram on a T-Shirt, from this Cafe Press link: Librarism
And some of the cyber-librarians experiment with mash-ups and other innovations...
Dave Pattern’s creative display of the biblioblogosphere
Hot Stuff i
And although some librarians may still wrinkle their noses at Wikipedia as a source of certain kinds of information (and I agree it may prove flawed in some ways) I don't know of any other Encyclopedia you could refer to for an odd subject like this.
Librarians in Popular Culture - according to Wiki
Librarians: We're Not What You Think (short essay)
We're not what you think (collection of images)