News

Librarians seek to change image with tattoo calendar

Librarians seek to change image with tattoo calendar

BREAKING STEREOTYPES: Librarian Emily Grace Mehrer poses in Providence, R.I., for a photo to be used in a 2014 fundraising calendar entitled, "Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State." Mehrer organized the calendar in part because she wanted people to know libraries are evolving and aren’t just places to get books. The calendar features 12 librarians, 10 women and two men, and their tattoos. Photo: Associated Press

tattooBy Daniel Lovering

BOSTON (Reuters) – Librarians in Rhode Island are showing off their tattoos in a new calendar designed to counter stereotypes about their profession and promote libraries as 21st century community hubs rather than mere book repositories.

The Rhode Island Library Association will publish the 2014 calendar, “Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State,” next month in an effort to change “outdated notions” about libraries and librarians, Jenifer Bond, the group’s president, said on Thursday.

While books continue to be a mainstay, libraries also have become community centers that offer various services, access to technology and opportunities for career development and personal enrichment, she said.

“We’re not just book repositories,” she said.

The association hopes the calendar will also call attention to “how fun and rewarding the profession is,” said Bond, 39, a reference librarian at Bryant University who does not have any tattoos.

The calendar features photos of 12 librarians from across the state, including 10 women and two men, displaying their tattoos along with books.

Their tattoos include a dragonfly, ruby slippers emblazoned on an ankle, a ship’s helm and anchor, and a book.

It was inspired by similar calendars produced by librarians in other states, including Massachusetts.

The group has received advance orders for hundreds of the calendars from customers in countries as far away as Australia, Finland, Germany, New Zealand and Singapore, Bond said.

“I thought only family and friends would be interested, not people in Australia,” said Emily Grace Mehrer, a spokeswoman for the group and a reference librarian at AskRI.org, a state reference service. “I’m just really grateful.”

Large numbers of children and older people tend to use libraries but not as many people in their 20s and 30s, even though libraries have plenty to offer them, said Mehrer. The calendar “kind of goes along with targeting that audience,” she said.

“I never thought it would take off this way,” said Mehrer, 25, who has 14 tattoos, including one on her forearm with the line “Teach Your Children,” from the song made famous by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. “I just want everyone talking about libraries.”

Recent Headlines

in Local

Cab Driver Charged with Endangerment After Mt. Vernon Teen Leaves Camp

police lights

A 13-year-old girl went missing after being dropped at an overnight church summer camp.

in Local

New Attorneys for Man Accused of Killing Quincy 7th Grader

jail

The Adams County public defender's office cited a conflict of interest.

in Local

Illinois River Hits Record Flood Stage at Meredosia

illinois river flooding

The river surpassed its 1943 record of 28.7 feet on Wednesday.

in Local

Danville Condemns Dick Van Dyke’s Childhood Home

Professional Dancers Society's 28th Annual Gypsy Award Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel - Arrivals

Featuring: Dick Van Dyke
Where: Los Angeles, California, United States
When: 29 Mar 2015
Credit: WENN.com

The childhood home of actor Dick Van Dyke could be torn down after Danville condemned it.

in Local

Unions Seek Full Pay Despite Lack of State Budget

gavel2

Unions representing Illinois state employees have filed a lawsuit demanding they will be paid in full and on time.