Librarian Wardrobe Interview

I did an interview with Librarian Wardrobe in anticipation of The Librarian Stereotype. You can see the full post here.


Q1: Provide a brief summary of your chapter

My chapter argues that the sexy librarian stereotype emerged at the end of the twentieth century from the confluence between sexual liberation, free speech movements and print pornography. I focus primarily on a series of librarian themed pornographic paperbacks published in the 1970s and 1980s by Greenleaf Classics. These stories, although pretty flimsy plot-wise, tend to be obsessed with the idea of liberating stuffy librarians from the shackles of sexual conservatism. What makes them interesting is that the process of liberation inevitably dramatizes some of the social struggles surrounding obscenity cases and the move to deregulate print materials. 

Keeping an eye on their particular historical context, I think we can see how these pulp novels place librarians at the center of an elaborate fantasy that valued the possibility of a public sex culture. I hope the chapter leaves readers with a complex understanding of the sexy librarian stereotype. The sexy librarian in literature represents sexist devaluations of professional librarians at the same time it values librarians as potential agents for maintaining access to otherwise marginalized sexual knowledge.