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will publish the 2014 calendar, “Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State,” next month in an effort to change “outdated notions” about libraries and librarians, Jenifer Bond, the group’s president, said on Thursday.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

Vikings beat Chaminade in Hawai’i

Carmen Dolfo WWU

Junior forward Kiana Gandy scored a team-high 16 points to lead Western Washington University to a 61-53 victory over Chaminade Thursday evening in the O'ahu Women's Basketball Thanksgiving Classic.

in Local Sports

Huskies can’t handle Longhorns in Bahamas

Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar directs his team

Eric Davis Jr. had 15 points, Cameron Ridley added 13 points and 11 rebounds and Texas fended off a barrage of rallies to beat Washington Thursday in the consolation round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

in Sports

Lions 45-14 win over Eagles, Panthers still perfect over Cowboys 33-14,Bears beat Packers

A football

Matthew Stafford tied a career high with five touchdown passes

in Local Sports

House scores 19, No. 25 Texas A&M beats No. 10 Gonzaga

gonzaga Mark Few

Danuel House scored 19 points, and No. 25 Texas A&M edged No. 10 Gonzaga on Thursday to advance to the championship game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

in Entertainment

‘Mortdecai,’ ‘American Ultra’ among the year’s biggest box office flops


The list of this year's most disappointing box office performers is out.