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More Vinyl Than Tweed

February 24, 2004

How long is it going to take for this stereotype to die? Until everyone who saw The Music Man in its first run dies off?!?!

In a NYT article describing Diane Keaton’s fashion sense (just the fact that this article was written at all distresses me greatly), author Ruth LaFerla refers to Keaton’s dowdiness: “For the better part of her 30-odd-year film career, Keaton has hidden her light under bowler hats, oversize jackets and calf-grazing skirts–and almost always prim gloves–cultivating a persona that on screen and off is less siren than librarian.”

OK, you know what? I’m a librarian AND a siren. And I know there are lots of us out there–male and female. I own more vinyl than tweed, more pleather than wool, and not a single oversize jacket. How exactly, then, do I fit in with Ms. LaFerla’s stereotype, that she so casually throws into her oh-so-high-brow fashion article? To suggest that the antithesis of a siren is a librarian is not only just plain stupid, but also very, very untrue.

Perhaps I’m getting irked over nothing, but I wrote a letter to the editor, I was so pissed. Anyone want to join me?

Rock on, you librarian sirens.

“More Vinyl Than Tweed”

  1. Louis Says:

    You have a point. Sometimes writers don’t realize who they offend with statements that seemed witty when conceived.

    I knew a couple librarian sirens back when I was in high school. What made them attractive was that their obliviousness to their attractiveness. I dunno … maybe that’s what Ruth meant.

  2. Publc Library Worker Bee Says:

    Do you wear said pleather and vinyl to work?

    A Curios Reader

  3. Librarian In Black Says:

    Sometimes…usually a touch of vinyl there, pleather boots here…nothing to raise the eyebrows of my supervisors too high. But, it took a while for me to feel comfortable enough to dress like myself at work. It’s something I think everyone should do, especially if you’re lucky enough to work in a library without a dress code :)

  4. secret admirer Says:

    You are a siren, librarian in black!

  5. Confessions of a Mad Librarian Says:

    Reviving Marion

    The Librarian in Black is ready to take names and kick butt over at the NY Times style section for suggesting that the antithesis of a siren is a librarian. And God bless her for it. But she briefly touches…

  6. Eli Says:

    Hey, you got me thinking about Marion (see the TrackBack) … Thanks.

  7. Walt Crawford Says:

    I guess I should say it here too:

    Good point re the NYT, but I think Marion gets a bad rap. She sure didn’t make librarians look bad as I remember the movie (and we saw it again on DVD within the last 18 months): the smartest, liveliest, most independent woman in town.

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  12. Confessions of a Mad Librarian Says:

    Reviving Marion

    The Librarian in Black is ready to take names and kick butt over at the NY Times style section for suggesting that the antithesis of a siren is a librarian. And God bless her for it. But she briefly touches upon poor Miss Marion Paroo. I think it’s rat…

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