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will publish the 2014 calendar, “Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State,” next month in an effort to change “outdated notions” about libraries and librarians, Jenifer Bond, the group’s president, said on Thursday.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

4 hours ago in Sports

Congressman charges NFL with wrongdoing

pallone1614461738670

A senior House Democrat has found that National Football League officials improperly sought to influence a government study on the link between football and brain disease.

4 hours ago in National

Democrats, seeking unity, give Sanders say in party platform

14-overlay-8

The Democratic Party said on Monday it would give U.S. presidential contender Bernie Sanders a prominent say in writing its platform this year, a gesture that could ease tensions between Sanders' camp and party leaders, whom Sanders has accused of favoring rival Hillary Clinton.

4 hours ago in Sports

Tom Brady continues his fight with NFL

25-overlay-6

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Monday asked a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its ruling reinstating his "Deflategate" four-game suspension, saying the decision runs contrary to federal labor law.

5 hours ago in National

Hawaii could be first to put gun owners in federal database

hawaiigunrestrictions16134856688305

Hawaii could become the first state in the nation to enter gun owners into an FBI database that will automatically notify police if an island resident is arrested anywhere else in the country.

5 hours ago in Lifestyle, National

Kicking the habit: Adult smoking rate in U.S. is falling fast

Updated
cigarettes16137527645580

The smoking rate among U.S. adults has been falling steadily for decades but the latest survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds the 2015 decline is the biggest in more than 20 years.