Librarian Action Figure
September 7, 2003 1:12 PM   Subscribe

With Amazing Push-Button Shushing Action the librarian action figure is coming this fall. Not surprisingly, some people aren't too keen on it.
posted by mr_crash_davis (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"The shushing thing just put me right over the edge," said Diane DuBois, library director of Caribou Public Library in Caribou, Maine. "We're so not like that anymore. It's so stereotypical I could scream."

you're cut too shushy

i want one.
posted by poopy at 1:17 PM on September 7, 2003

I'm definitely buying one of these for my wife the liberrian.

And I'm surprised that the anal-retentive anti-shushers didn't also demand that these figures be renamed "Library Media Specialists. "

posted by MrBaliHai at 1:43 PM on September 7, 2003

"Why not have a librarian driving a Harley (wearing leather and lace) or a librarian skydiving or snowboarding or using a laptop computer!"
Um, cause they don't really do that stuff in a library. Except the laptop thingy. Shush!
posted by Outlawyr at 2:59 PM on September 7, 2003

MBH: For her libations?
posted by i_cola at 2:59 PM on September 7, 2003

There'll be no libating in the liberry! Now shush.
posted by MrBaliHai at 3:17 PM on September 7, 2003

All the librarians I know love this idea. Of course, many of them are the tattoo-sporting radical type of librarian who are sticking thinly-veiled anti-PATRIOT act warnings on the library computers.
posted by Soliloquy at 3:34 PM on September 7, 2003

Mmmm librarians!
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:52 PM on September 7, 2003

I used to be a librarian, and while this doesn't bother me now, it probably would have when I was one, because you really do get awfully tired of people laughing when you tell them what you do for a living. Makes you extra touchy.
posted by JanetLand at 3:58 PM on September 7, 2003

At least well-known librarian stereotypes exist. I'm not holding my breath for a QA analyst action figure.
posted by cobra libre at 4:27 PM on September 7, 2003

Hey, why is all this noise coming from inside this teapot?
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:44 PM on September 7, 2003

Hey, Harold Hill knew: Marian the Librarian is a hottie!

Would've linked to the lyrics of Marian's song, but I can't find a lyrics site on Google that doesn't do 14 pop-ups or try to download Gator in yor ass!
posted by wendell at 4:58 PM on September 7, 2003

The first time I went to a large public library with my father, at age 10 or so, I was amazed by the silence (and the shushing, both from the librarians and the readers, when someone spoke too loudly). I felt like I was in a church. It was somewhat intimidating, but also a bit awe inspiring. Do people really hate libraries because of the silence?

Sometimes I think that they invent these kind of "Why don't they show a librarian skydiving" people just to supply the right wing with arguments about political correctness. Then I remember that I actually know some people like that. They're scary. I think you could drive any sane person to physical violence by forcing them to listen to that kind of drivel. Give me a lecture about Spivak pronouns and I'll give you a man who is ready and willing to kill.
posted by Eloquence at 5:15 PM on September 7, 2003

All these dolls are doing is making fun of librarians by relying on old stereotypes about them. I'm not sure why I should disagree with a librarian who takes offense at it. People take offense when you insult them.
posted by Hildago at 7:45 PM on September 7, 2003

I'm not sure why I should disagree with a librarian who takes offense at it.

Because this is great fun both ways - it's silly, campy fun for people who don't have things lodged in their asses, and the people who get all bent out of shape about stuff like this just make it more enjoyable for the rest of us. I mean, really, what good is the comedy if nobody is offended?

Disclaimer: my dad was a librarian for 30 years or so, and I'm sure he'd think this is the best thing ever.
posted by majcher at 8:17 PM on September 7, 2003

Exactly how else would one go about making a librarian doll/action figure? I understand that this is "stereotypical behaviour" but it also happens to fairly accurately reflect your average person's first interaction with a librarian.

Perhaps they should have made the doll with a book in one hand and a stamp in the other, but then I'm sure other people -- or maybe the very same people -- would have complained about that.
posted by clevershark at 8:19 PM on September 7, 2003

As someone who works in an archives, I'm just jealous — where's the archivist action figure, hmmm?

And I would like to state for the record that I am entirely in favor of libations in the liberry.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:13 PM on September 7, 2003

I would name my pro baseball team the Austin Librarians and the fans would execute the Librarians Shhhh! in celebration.
posted by nautone at 10:03 PM on September 7, 2003

How about a Slalom Skier Action Figure with Push-Button Shushing Action?
posted by wendell at 12:15 AM on September 8, 2003

Well, a librarian doll with push-button alphabetize-and-reshelve-all-my-books action *would* be more useful. Work on it, will ya?
posted by arto at 3:09 AM on September 8, 2003

As a librarian, I am completely indifferent towards this. I think is was Jessamyn who once said that if librarians stopped making such a fuss over the old stereotypes (by specifically pointing out how, by being tattooed/goth/punk/young/hip/drunk, they are the "anti-stereotype") the whole thing would go away soon enough.

Librarians sometimes get too enamored with the concept of librarianship and all that it entails, including the traditional stereotypes. I like to think that, by being halfways intelligent, non-repulsive (I hope), and fully engaged in the world around me (through reading in subjects far beyond the current bestsellers), I'm helping to change people's perception of libraries and librarians in more subtle ways than shouting "Look at me! A librarian with a tattoo! How'd you like THEM apples, buster!"

(I am getting my first tattoo in a couple of months, while I'm on my honeymoon, but that is neither here nor there. I'm also leaving the public library field in a few weeks to work in a museum library, so I don't pretend to speak for public librarians in general.)
posted by arco at 7:27 AM on September 8, 2003

Heh! I am just now falling in love with a library assistant with a tattoo (though she has been and would rather once again be, a journalist), and I know a gay librarian who is completely covered in lurid tattoos.

I think it's a cool thing, mostly because it's a figure of an actual librarian who is doing some good.

Oh, and check out Librarian Avengers, which used to be much cooler but is still allright. :)
posted by Foosnark at 9:27 AM on September 8, 2003

As a representative of the library system myself, I feel very indifferent towards this. Even the librarians I know who ARE stereotypical get tired of the "sensible-shoes" jokes. Since Archie McPhee is based here in the Jet/Emerald City, I propose a re-tooling of the doll, after a short recruiting trip to Concrete, WA for a new model. Take that, Evil Demons of Compromise...
posted by hoborg at 12:57 PM on September 8, 2003

it's silly, campy fun for people who don't have things lodged in their asses

So what you're saying is, pretty much, if you are a librarian and are offended by this, fuck off?
posted by Hildago at 9:36 PM on September 8, 2003

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