The stereotypical image of the female librarian as an uptight spinster has prevailed in popular culture. This paper examines the portrayal of the librarian stereotype in movies from two different eras: the 1940s/1950s and the 2000s. The historical antecedents, social and economic status of women are examined, and the influence of computers and technology in the library is considered. Common traits that typify the film librarian, along with the inclusions of computers in the library, are identified and analyzed. Approaches to combatting the stereotypes are discussed and applied to the movies in order to discover any progression of the image in 60 years. It is concluded that while there has been some progress in the characterization of librarians in movies, overall there has been little change in 60 years.

About Author

Julia Wells is a graduate student in the MLIS program at SJSU School of Library & Information Science. She received her BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada.