Kids' librarian literary sleeve tattoo

Today I stopped in at the Whitman Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library to participate in the Field Family Teen Author Series, which distributes books to teens, then brings their authors in to speak about them. The kids' librarian at the branch was the brilliant Heather Warren, who's overseen a total overhaul of the way kids' services are provided at her branch. She also has a completely awesome kids'-literature-inspired sleeve tattoo (done by Bird of the Black Vulture Gallery, which she graciously allowed me to photograph and post here. Thanks, Heather! (And thanks to the Aurora and the folks from the Fields Series and the kids who came down, too!)

See the full set


  1. My husband, a librarian in a small school library outside of Gothenburg has a tattoo of the bumblebee from the Swedish kids story Dunderklumpen… perhaps librarians do this allot when they get tattooed?

  2. Thanks again for visiting today, Cory, and for your interest in my tattoo!  For the record, I *did* jump up and down and make squee-type noises at several points in the day — spot-on observation from a previous commenter.  :) 

    For the admirers, the work isn’t totally done.  It was Bird’s idea for the illustrations to appear torn out of the books, and each segment needs to be completed before it can all be tied together.

    Ladyfingers- Thanks for the food for thought, but I’m pretty sure my tattoo doesn’t involve infantilism on my behalf.  These aren’t cartoon characters or rainbows or fairies or anything (though I personally try very hard not to judge *anyone’s* body art) – they are iconic children’s book illustrations and, as long as I am lucky, my profession is as a children’s librarian.  These illustrations and the stories that go along with them are not cutesy… they are all quite deep and have been chosen for many personal reasons, none of which involve weakening myself in the eyes of men.  I also know many men who have tattoos featuring illustrations from some of the same books.

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Heather Warren
    Children’s Librarian
    Philadelphia, PA 

  3. I met a bloke recently who had ‘Where the wild things are’ tattooed across the small of his back (ie, a picture of the characters, not the words).
    It was really nice work, although he’d got the artist to miss out one of the monsters because it had scared him as a kid :)

  4. A lot of my classmates in library school had tattoos, although most of them didn’t have any literary significance. They were cool all the same. Tattoos aren’t for me, but I am always happy to see tattooed librarians; the sight alone makes people rethink their outdated ideas about librarians. 

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