Hair and Hairstyles as Metaphors for Librarians

PUN, Raymond and LAU, Jesus (2018) Hair and Hairstyles as Metaphors for Librarians. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 142 - New Professionals SIG, Management of Library Associations and Public Libraries.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Hair and Hairstyles as Metaphors for Librarians

What roles do hair and hairstyles play for librarians and their images? Long hair, short hair, or hair tied in a bun, there are stereotypical and traditional hairstyles that librarians may have because it can be a perceived expectation of a specific industry culture. But can we explore “hair” and “hairstyle” as other kinds of images or metaphors for our work and performance instead? This paper will explain how hair and hairstyles can be perceived as metaphors for change, adaptation, and risk-taking based on our experiences as librarians. To accommodate a librarian’s image, hair plays a critical role in showing what can be “acceptable” and “unacceptable” in the workplace. However, altering hairstyles can have profound effects on one’s self-image: developing a sense of confidence, conformity and complexity.

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