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will publish the 2014 calendar, “Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State,” next month in an effort to change “outdated notions” about libraries and librarians, Jenifer Bond, the group’s president, said on Thursday.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

Bama, FSU, Oregon, Miss St keep playoff rankings

Alabama head coach Nick Saban seems frustrated during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Auburn in Auburn, Ala., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013.

The top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings are unchanged — Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State — heading into a weekend when just about all the contenders are facing challenging rivals.

in Local Sports

Sherman, Baldwin dig at NFL in press conference

lynch

With the help of a cardboard cutout, the Seahawks' Richard Sherman & Doug Baldwin took some digs at the NFL on Tuesday

in Sports

Red Sox finalize agreement with Sandoval

Newly acquired Boston Red Sox free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval smilies as he and Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington pose with a team jersey as Sandoval is introduced to the media at Fenway Park Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 in Boston.

The Red Sox have finalized their five-year contract with third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the first of two big signings

in Local Sports

Cal coach praises Pac-12 for admitting mistakes

California head coach Sonny Dykes during the second half of an NCAA college football game against California, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, in Tucson, Ariz.

California coach Sonny Dykes praised the Pac-12 on Tuesday for acknowledging that replay officials erred in overturning two touchdowns

in Local Sports

Canucks acquire Pedan from Islanders for Mallet

Canucks fans

Pedan, a 6-foot-4 Moscow native, has played six games with the American Hockey League's Bridgeport Sound Tigers this season, recording three assists and 51 penalty minutes.