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NOT ALL IN THE MIND: THE VIRILE PROFESSION

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 1 March 1980

Abstract

In our media‐orientated, image‐conscious contemporary society the librarian may very well seem particularly unfortunate, reflected in the imagination of the general public as a fussy old woman of either sex, myopic and repressed, brandishing or perhaps cowering behind a date‐stamp and surrounded by an array of notices which forbid virtually every human activity. The media, for whom the librarian is frustration personified, have reinforced this stereotype, hitherto transmitted solely by superstition and hearsay; its greatest impact has no doubt fallen on the two‐thirds of the population who never use the library. One of its effects will be to ensure that they never do so in the future. As Frank Hatt has pointed out: “The controllers of the new media of communication … have shown a tendency to limit choices by using the considerable power of the media to limit their audience's established attitudes, simply because such limitation is good business.” The popular BBC television series, The last of the summer wine, portrayed a librarian whose vicarious sex‐life through the pages of D. H. Lawrence led to inevitably frustrated attempts to act out his fantasies in occasional under‐the‐counter forays with his similarly repressed female assistant. A Daily mail leader on an appeal against unfair dismissal made by a London Deputy Borough Librarian reiterates this concept:

Citation

COWELL, P. (1980), "NOT ALL IN THE MIND: THE VIRILE PROFESSION", Library Review, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 167-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb012712

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1980, MCB UP Limited