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will publish the 2014 calendar, “Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State,” next month in an effort to change “outdated notions” about libraries and librarians, Jenifer Bond, the group’s president, said on Thursday.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

‘Pan’ taps origins of Peter Pan’s 100-year pop culture adventure


In the century since Scottish author J.M. Barrie created Peter Pan for a stage play then a book, the Neverland universe has inspired movies, books, TV shows, plays, video games and even a pop psychology syndrome describing emotionally immature men.

in Music

Miranda Lambert channeling heartbreak into new music


The "Mama's Broken Heart" hitmaker is turning her divorce into good songwriting material, insisting she has "never felt so inspired."

in Entertainment

Keanu Reeves wants to have a third ‘Bill & Ted’ adventure


The "Matrix" star says a script for the third installment of the "excellent" time-traveling franchise is in the works.

in Music

Johnny Cash, Miranda Lambert have star power


Country stars Miranda Lambert and the late Johnny Cash were honored with stars on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville, Tenn.

in Entertainment

Neil Patrick Harris writing children’s books


The "How I Met Your Mother" star is penning a new series called "The Magic Misfits."