Librarian tattoos

On Mental Floss, Jill Harness's collection of librarian tattoos. Above, Elizabeth Skene's card-catalog sleeve, by Frank William of the Chicago Tattoo Company. Right, Michelle's super-librarian tattoo, chosen to represent her career as a high-school librarian, based on Mary Marvel, and done by Chris Cockrill of Avalon II Tattoo.

11 Amazing Librarian Tattoos (via Making Light)


  1. as per tattoo number seven – is it common in the US to use the Dewey Decimal or even the Cutter number for fiction?
    I’ve never seen it in Australia or the UK. Maybe I don’t go to enough libraries

      1. I think my college libraries tended to use Dewey Decimal for fiction, but smaller town libraries I used went with last name.  Sometimes Sci fi and fantasy are in their own section, also under last name. 

    1.  Technically, all fiction “should” be cataloged with a Dewey Decimal number. That’s how the system was designed. However, most public libraries have such a huge amount of fiction that it would be unwieldy and confusing to put it all into the 800s, so they separate it out into a section of its own, sometimes further broken down by genre, and arranged by author’s last name. However, the MARC records still contain Dewey numbers. :-)

    2. I can only speak for University libraries, but we use the Library of Congress classification for everything. Never have we done it Dewey.

    1. Was a part time librarian when I was a student, I’ll take that complement! Cataloguing new books and ‘securing’ them from book thieve was my favourite activities.  

  2. Back in the day, I seriously considered applying to the graduate program at the local university’s library school (now called information science) because of the simple fact that all the librarians I knew were super-fucking-hawt.  

    Then I got married which kind of put the kibosh on that idea.  Still think a lot about Information Science as a second career, though for different, more pragmatic reasons now.

    1.  It’s fairly difficult to get a job in the field right now, because library schools promoted the degree program in the Aughts under the assumption that lots of baby boomer librarians would be retiring soon, opening up lots of jobs in the field. This really didn’t happen, in part because the field shrunk somewhat as many municipal governments cut library hours and branches (and the positions to go with them) and in part because a lot of Boomer librarians held onto their jobs past the former customary retirement age, leaving a lot of recent library school grads unemployed or underemployed with significant school loan debt.

      I’m saying all of this not because I want to necessarily discourage you from pursuing the degree and field, but just as a reality check.

  3. Sadly, librarian is one of those professions whose funding has been cut so severely it’s becoming a volunteer pursuit.  I wonder if our grandchildren will think of them like lamplighters and uniformed service station attendants.

  4. I’m an un-tattooed librarian, but I’ve always kind of liked the idea of getting the word “bookworm” tattooed across my knuckles. Not enough to actually do it, mind.

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