Monday, January 21, 2008

The Superhero Librarian (A pure and wonderfully silly image), Adbrite

Good morning. I have been thinking of the stereotype of the librarian as superhero. This is a collection of links that explore this idea. The most famous superhero librarian is Batgirl or Barbara Gordon. She is trained by batman to fight crime. ALA -- the American Library Association even has a poster of her at their library store. It is the ultimate stereotype of what a librarian should look like.

I guess the image has caught on in the mind of the public. New Jersey public libraries have adopted Super Librarian as their mascot. The image is of a woman in a purple suit with glasses carrying a book. I don't know why they choose to put glasses on librarians, not all librarians are myopic. I don't wear glasses. However, many of my colleagues do.
Super librarian is on the front page of the New Jersey Libraries web site.

This image is not just in the west. Jet Li in the film "Black Mask" works as a librarian during the day and a kung fu super soldier by night. Black Mask even had a sequel, Black Mask 2. It is an interesting juxtaposition. I rather liked the film. It had a lot of action in it. There must be some universal appeal to the idea of scholar by day, hero by night. It is a common motif, the film Iron Monkey has the character as a physician by day, and a kung fu robin hood by night.

Somehow, on some level, you can look at it as an alternative to the reporter by day of Superman. But, even ordinary librarians are being turned into superheros. There must be something in peoples psyches that identifies with the bookish literate person as hero. I have shown the Nancy Pearl action figure earlier. There is even an article on the action figure and Nancy Pearl in the Seattle Times.

There is a certain amount of profound silliness in turning librarians into superheros. While I was wandering around the web I ran into this and decided to use it in this article. This is the librarian dress up doll. It includes not one, but two superhero outfits. It was well worth a good laugh. A lot of people take themselves too seriously.

Very few librarians fit this stereotype. However, it is not a particularly new idea. Most images of librarians in comics are of severe woman with buns and glasses. I am going to include a bibliography of librarians in comics which I also found.

Finally, I found it. I don't know if it as any good. This is Rex Libris, I Librarian a librarian superhero with his own comic book. It is done by Slave Labor Graphics. I don't know if it is any good. The preview looks interesting.

The closest thing I think can be compared to the librarian as superhero is the librarian who is a librarian by day and an artist, writer, or musician at night. This is another crossover thing which often happens. It is fairly common for librarians to be writers. Book reviewing is a common activity for librarians, and there is a certain amount of artistic talent involved in choosing material, planning programs, and creating displays for libraries.


I am rather disappointed with Adbrite, I managed to earn 5 cents in one day... then they shut off my advertisements. I was looking forward to earning 35 cents in week.

There, I added two ad boxes from Adsense. One is on the very bottom of the page below my posts. The other is a small ad box over my biography. Hopefully, these are not too intrusive.

Amazon affiliates are doing the best so far. Since I started with Amazon, I've earned 58 cents in two days, a profound amount of money. More than even Powell's. I will celebrate with a cup of coffee in three months when I earn enough to get a $100 check from Amazon.

Very late at night I used to see these homeless guys who would stand over the sewer grates in the sidewalks of Manhattan. They would lower a thin cord with a magnet attached to it. Coins and other small objects would attach to the magnet and they would haul the change up to add to their paper cups.

I think if I searched couches, I might find more change than what is being earned from Adbrite.


Anonymous said...

I found that Adbrite inevitably put scantily clad undulating women pitching porn sites on my blog for those few pennies a day. Ditched Adbrite.

Anonymous said...

In the superhero department, don't forget Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian on A Prairie Home Companion.

Book Calendar said...

Thanks for the tip on adbrite. I am looking at another system called "Project Wonderful" where you bid on ad space for 125 x 125 pics. It looks like an offshoot of Entrecard.

How can I forget Garrison Keillor.

Shari Thomas said...

I recommend Project Wonderful. You still have to be vigilant, but at least you get to approve the advertisers and the ads they run. There's no audio and you can choose not to allow animation if you want.

The payout is a low $10 and you should be able to earn daily. Start with a free spot and let the market determine the value through the auction.

Hope this helps,

Anonymous said...

I enjoy Rex Libris. It is rather odd, but enjoyable. I think its the juxtaposition of "librarian" and "gun-toting" that does it for me.

I think of Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a superhero librarian. OK,so he's mostly an enabler, but heck... And does 'amateur actor/singer by night' count, or does that stretch the idea too far?

Unknown said...
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Ms. Yingling said...

I actually AM a super hero librarian. A student entered an Office Max contest to recognize a teacher, and his entry won, so I got to be a character in a Marvel comic book. Little did I know it was a stereotype... guess I can stop worrying that I don't have a bun!

Kim said...

I feel like a superhero every day. Really! Lately there has been a lot of helping people with resume preparation on computers; but there are many ways in which librarians are involved in their community. There's never a dull moment, that's for sure.

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