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\"Librarians know the stereotype well. They laugh at it, but also discuss how it affects their self-image and professional status. Sometimes they go out of their way to overturn it. Some librarians think that the cliche has a certain basis in fact, and that the information revolution, far from changing the stereotype, may actually be reinforcing it. \"Absher believes that the stereotype is intimately linked with the fact that the profession was always, and still is, dominated by women. \"The public wants a female authority figure, if only to rebel against,\" Absher said. \"And there aren\'t many female authority figures -- maybe teachers and librarians, that\'s about it.\"
But Absher and other librarians are trying to debunk some of the myths. Absher has created a fictitious Web site character -- the Lipstick Librarian -- an iconoclast who proves that librarians can be smart, glamorous and take a joke. The site -- www.teleport.com/~petlin/liplib -- offers makeup tips (Post-its as a beauty aid) and a bibliography (\"Circulate THIS!! When Circ Librarians Go Bad\").
There are also Web sites for \"modified\" librarians (tattoos and piercing), anarchist librarians (\"Boring Mission Statement: We don\'t have one\") and bellydancing librarians (Birkenstocks by day, \"I Dream Of Jeannie\" outfit by night).