A shake-up of Britain’s libraries has been called for by a senior spin-doctor – including a ban on the word “librarian”.
The Westminster council official said libraries should also spice up their reputation by using “good-looking” staff for press and marketing work and by stressing their range of “racy” titles.
The proposals were met with disgust by librarians, who dismissed the idea that they are not glamorous or exciting.
“Librarians come in all shapes and sizes – and that includes the very photogenic,” said one library chief, adding that some of his colleagues are “incredibly exciting”.
The call for an improvement in the reputation of local libraries came from Westminster head of communications Alex Aiken.
Mr Aiken, a former policy director for the Tories, told a conference of the Public Library Authorities: “The concept of the librarian has to change and perhaps a start would be to abolish the title itself, with its connotations of middle-aged conservatism.”
Telling the librarians how to get pro-library articles into the press, he said: “From racy books to photogenic librarians and new services that counter outdated perceptions, media is a powerful tool to shape image.”
I think what the Westminster council official has in mind is putting Hooters waitresses into libraries, who are the embodiment of “racy titles”.
So how can we sexify the title of librarian, Mr Aiken? Labiarian, perhaps?
Taken from the word ‘labyrinth’; you know, the image of the library being a labyrinth of knowledge and all.
You weren’t thinking about something else, were you?