What are the typical characteristics of a librarian?
- In glasses
Side note: I chuckle at another librarian’s reaction to this: “At the time, this [Family Feud] program irritated a number of librarians, but whether their irritation was based on the question, the answer or the fact that the contestant guessed all [the] ‘correct answers’ is still to be determined.” SNAP!
In 2010, the Socialite Librarian listed some typical librarian stereotypes, including:
- middle aged
- “pinch-faced woman”
- frumpy dresser
- bun and glasses
- sensible shoes
I find it interesting that almost all of these stereotypical characteristics — many of which are physical characteristics — describe the reel librarian character types of the Spinster Librarian, as well as her male counterpart, the Anti-Social Male Librarian.
The above characteristics are all connected to perceptions of librarians — by those mostly outside the profession itself. But a 1990 study of librarians using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (in which librarians themselves completed the self-scorable survey) revealed dominant personality types of librarians. The study, which included 48 librarians, contrasted results from a previous study of 267 librarians.
Characteristics of ISTJ (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) include: orderly, responsible, logical, practical, quiet, and thorough. That sounds familiar…
Characteristics of INTJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) include: originality, skepticism, critical, independent, and driven.
The kicker? I, too, have taken the Myers-Briggs study. I, too, am an ISTJ.
- The Librarian Stereotype and the Movies (wings.buffalo.edu)
- Reel Vs. Real Librarians (scholarworks.iupui.edu)
- Librarian Stereotypes (socialitelibrarian.blogspot.com)
- Personality Profiles and Librarians–Still of Interest to Many (lonewolflibrarian.wordpress.com)
- The ‘Year of the Librarian’ continues (reel-librarians.com)
- It’s a Wonderful… Stereotype? (reel-librarians.com)