Librarians: We’re Way Filthier Than You’d Think

I’m visiting Shelley K. Wall’s blog today to talk about librarians! We may seem innocent, but…well, you’ll see.


I am a proud former librarian. I am also the possessor of a potty mouth, a bawdy sense of humor, and an e-reader that should’ve melted long ago because of its smutty contents.

While I worked at the library, the combination of my job and my personality sometimes surprised people. I understood why. In the popular imagination, librarians love silence, propriety, and—above all else—glaring over the tops of their bifocals at troublesome patrons. They don’t swear. They don’t tell dick jokes. And they certainly don’t read sexy books.

Turns out, though, that’s not quite true. If you talk to librarians, you’ll find a wide array of personalities. Some of my favorite coworkers did direct death stares at noisy library visitors, and a few refused to read books with sexual content. Others, however, actually ended up getting shushed by patrons (*coughMEcough*) for speaking too loudly or laughing too hard at dirty internet memes.

And many of us loved romances. In my case, that love led to writing romances of my own.

But I didn’t forget the library, even though I no longer worked there. My debut novella, Broken Resolutions, is set in one. It features a quiet but determined librarian named Penny, who meets her perfect match on New Year’s Eve. The later books in my Lovestruck Librarians series feature her friends, all of whom work in the same library system.

So before Broken Resolutions downloads onto e-readers around the world, I should probably clarify a few things. Here are four true/false questions to test your librarian knowledge:

1. True/False: Librarians are all quiet and prudish.

Answer: This one’s a gimme. You already know I’m loud and love dick jokes. Next question.

2. All we need to identify a book is the cover color, and/or the decade you saw that book.

Answer: True…occasionally. I once had a lady request a book with “kitchen” in the title. She wasn’t sure if it was fiction or not. It could have been a cookbook, a remodeling guide, or…anything, really. I finally figured out she wanted The Help, because library miracles sometimes occur. In general, though, a full title or author name helps expedite the process and stop the librarian from pulling out handfuls of her own hair.

3. True/False: If you’ve forgotten your e-mail password, we know it.

Answer: False. Although “password” or “unicornlover1967” seem to be common answers.

4. True/False: We have eyes in the backs of our heads.

Answer: False. Our extra sets of eyes can be located in a variety of places. On the backs of our heads, sure. But also our shoulder blades, our knees, even our breasts. Which no doubt explains why so many patrons kept looking there, especially when I wore formfitting shirts.

In conclusion: Librarians can be proper, but they can also be a bit dirty. And we’re probably watching you with our extra sets of eyes at all times. But not in a creepy way. I promise.

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