Kneale, Ruth. You Don’t Look Like a Librarian : Shattering Stereotypes and Creating Positive New Images in the Internet Age. Medford, N.J.: Information Today, 2009.

I want to bring your attention to this book because it’s author, Ruth Kneale, is making here a very convincing case for breaking the prevalent stereotypes of who the librarians are. I myself became intrigued by the topic only recently, in large part due to Kneale’s efforts.

So why librarian should care about this book? The library stereotype can be seen all over the place: in ads, movies, toys, books, comics and more.   Some of  these stereotypes are cool, but some have a negative edge to it.  And while we might want to ignore the negative stereotypes, those around us aren’t, as I have recently discovered when working on library advocacy and promotion.

The most valuable part of the book, is the chapter containing information on people and organizations that are breaking the stereotype.  If you are new to the profession and need role models, this section will help.

It’s important to note that the book is built on solid research. Kneale doesn’t take this subject lightly. The appendices, notes, and references are very impressive and thorough.

The book does have a companion web site which Ruth Kneale maintains in addition to her blog.


Kane, Laura Townsend. Working in the Virtual Stacks : The New Library and Information Science. Chicago: American Library Association, 2011.

For library students, paraprofessionals, and librarians who are wondering if they have their ladder against the right wall, this frank and honest inside look at librarianship fills the need for an up-to-date resource that uncovers the amazing and varied new jobs available in the library field. Written by Laura Townsend Kane, an accomplished librarian (head of Cataloging and Acquisitions at the University of South Carolina’s School of Medicine Library) and a veteran author (in addition to two career development books for information professionals, Karen also wrote “Access versus Ownership” chapter in the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science), this comprehensive and engaging guide it easy to get a grip on the emerging information science career paths. It profiles web-services librarians in all types of settings, from veterinary medicine and law to astronomy, market research, and cataloging, offers insights into career opportunities in the library world by challenging traditional notions of what a librarian does and shows examples of real-world librarianship in the fields of technology instruction, digital futures, virtual libraries, and even librarians as entrepreneurs. Written in a warm and personal style, Working in the Virtual Stacks presents an exciting future for librarians, already upon us today and those of us considering library career or mid-course career adjustment shouldn’t miss it.


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