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Library Worklife






According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) (2012), the library profession has seen a 48% (19,458) increase in males working in libraries since 1980 and the male influx is expected to increase (Minnesota, 2011) despite lingering professional stereotypes. Movies, books, and other popular media focus on the overall image of the librarian, as if only one type exists for both sexes (Duke, 1999; Garcia, 2011). These stereotypes may be misinterpreted on the faulty premise that men confront the same stereotypes in the library workplace as women. Social roles and norms are different for men and women and men joining a traditionally feminine profession face different levels of prejudice than do women (Williams, 1991). Society sees librarianship as “women’s work,” and anyone associated with it must be female or feminine. Men in nontraditional professions such as nursing and librarianship have become easy targets for stereotyping, creating a vicious cycle. Men assume the stereotypes are valid, they avoid taking the jobs, and the profession continues to see fewer males entering the workforce, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of low employment rates.