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Pole Dancing @ Your Library

Welcome to the new look!. That cat is slick, if I do say so myself. Okay, back to business.

I’d missed this one until a Kind Reader sent me the Infodocket link, with the comment, “I’ve been to ALA annual. God help us if it’s the librarians doing the dancing.”

The topic is a library offering pole-dancing lessons to draw people in, but the comment really isn’t fair. This is a library in Scotland, Kind Reader, and I’m sure Scottish librarians are significantly different from their American cousins.

I have a feeling if the ALA conferences had pole-dancing lessons on the exhibit floor, plenty of librarians would try them, and the result wouldn’t be pretty, although the Cognotes coverage could be amusing.

There seems to be some confusion. The local “Cabinet member for public services and leisure” (they have such great titles over there) calls the pole dancing lesson a “pole fitness session,” which would come as a surprise to that woman in the photo. She doesn’t look like she’s got her exercise clothes on. And if all goes right, she’ll have nothing on at all by the end of the “session.”

This is supposed to bring more people into the library, and it will probably succeed. First, they’ll be able to bring in more strippers, which will class up the place a lot. Then it’ll bring in the sort of creeps who go watch strippers, which will class it up even more.

I was about to say everyone else would run screaming, but I forgot about the contingent that wants to become strippers.

No, you might say, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with strippers. If not, then why is the class not available for those under 17? Exactly.

For all I know the economy is terrible there, so I guess it’s good for young women to learn some job skills. This class could be the start of a whole new life for them.

This would probably fit in with my old idea of Library Spa 2.0. It’s the culmination of the drive to make libraries everything to everyone, which is great except for the people who need libraries. Massages, manicures, pole-dancing classes, the list is endless.

The pole dancing might alleviate the need for so much Internet porn in the library as well. Just set up the guys who would be massaging themselves while viewing porn and set them up in front of the pole dancers. Maybe the library could supply some fake dollars or pounds for them to stick in the dancers waistbands.

Something tells me a man thought up this idea. Since I can’t imagine this class is going to attract a lot of men (except to watch), it would be nice to have something either less sexist, or else the equivalent. A Full Monty dancing class for men might be just the thing. That book ping pong game just isn’t enough.

And here I thought American libraries led the world in tasteless library advertising.

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Comments

  1. annoyedlibraryworker says:

    I really really dislike the current trend of holding gimmicky events in an effort to drive people to the library. Gaming Nights, Lego Clubs, Flash Mobs, funny videos, cart drill teams, and now pole dancing, do not to do much to help promote and encourage people to use traditional library services involving literacy and self empowerment. All this stuff just makes us look desperate for any attention(“Please be my friend, I can be cool, PLEASE!!!!!!) , and weakens our credibly as a real institution of real value to people.

    • roymacIII says:

      All this stuff just makes us look desperate for any attention(“Please be my friend, I can be cool, PLEASE!!!!!!) , and weakens our credibly as a real institution of real value to people.

      Absolutely. Which is why I suggest we get rid of the fiction collection entirely; “fun” and “entertainment” aren’t of real value, and should be banished forevermore from the hallowed halls of The Library. We wouldn’t want our credibility damaged by providing materials and services that people enjoy.

    • annoyedlibraryworker says:

      roy, I never said anything was wrong with fiction, if pole dancing classes are proven to lure new readers, I’m all for it, I just don’t think it does. Providing materials for enjoyment is part of promoting literacy and if a program can be tied into that, great. Most children’s story hours lead toward encouraging kids and their caregivers to pick up more books to take home. I’m not sure what many of these programs do besides adding bulk to door counts and programming statistics that look good on monthly reports

    • I Like Books says:

      People that come for the pole dancing aren’t going to stay for the legal thrillers.

  2. My only comment, other than this being another interesting AL post, is the tweet button now omits #AnnoyedLibrarian @LibraryJournal, so I (and others) have to add it in. Maybe that can be remedied?

  3. Ben says:

    There are always two directions I want to go for Annoyed Librarian’s posts.

    For example:
    1) Slight indignation at the judgment inherent in equating people who sign up for a pole dancing class with strippers.
    2) Full agreement that the idea of having a pole dancing booth in a library does not relate even tangentially to a library’s services.

  4. annastasia says:

    The link with the photo is for a newspaper article and it seems likely that they supplied the photo. It would seem that like you they equate pole dancing with stripping, and assume that any woman taking part in such activities has the desire to become a sex worker. Would you have had a different opinion if you had seen the photgraph accompanying this newspaper article? http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/18/library-pole-dancing-midlothian-class

    I’d imagine that the ’17′ thing is more to do with the tutor’s insurance than anything else.

    I believe there are a range of activities on offer including Scottish country dancing, head massage, novel writing tips and an Xbox challenge as well as performances form local musicans. No doubt there is some link here with the local adult education classes on offer.

    The library is likely to hold print material on all of these subjects so why not broaden things out to inlcude people? that’s the point of the human library project http://humanlibrary.org/ which seeks to overcome prejudice. Perhaps talking to some people who do pole dancing would give you a different perspective.

    • Midwest SciTech Librarian says:

      “The Human Library organization aims to unite active organizers from all parts of the world and to promote the use of the Human Library in efforts to create more social cohesion and respect for diversity and human rights.”

      So where exactly does pole dancing fit in? I was unaware that by denying PoleDancing@yourlibrary might infringe on someone’s basic human rights or cause society to disintegrate.

    • Frog the Librarian says:

      FFS.

  5. Bill Kirby says:

    for crying out loud! don’t let Britain get ahead of us! Get those poles installed today, preferably with a webcam focused on them. be open to male pole dancers, too Let’s show some American ingenuity!

  6. Bill Kirby says:

    Surely, somewhere in the great US there are librarians over 60 years of age, one of each of the two sexes, willing to do a little pole dancing for the camera

  7. Meg says:

    Too bad it wasn’t a May Pole. Then it would be historical in nature! :D

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Library Journal : 28th January Pole Dancing @ Your Library  No, you might say, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with strippers. If not, then why is the class not available for those under 17? Exactly.  For all I know the economy is terrible there, so I guess it’s good for young women to learn some job skills. This class could be the start of a whole new life for them.  This would probably fit in with my old idea of Library Spa 2.0. It’s the culmination of the drive to make libraries everything to everyone, which is great except for the people who need libraries. Massages, manicures, pole-dancing classes, the list is endless. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/blogs/annoyedlibrarian/2013/01/28/pole-dancing-your-library/  [...]

  2. [...] Library Journal : 28th January Pole Dancing @ Your Library  No, you might say, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with strippers. If not, then why is the class not available for those under 17? Exactly.  For all I know the economy is terrible there, so I guess it’s good for young women to learn some job skills. This class could be the start of a whole new life for them.  This would probably fit in with my old idea of Library Spa 2.0. It’s the culmination of the drive to make libraries everything to everyone, which is great except for the people who need libraries. Massages, manicures, pole-dancing classes, the list is endless. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/blogs/annoyedlibrarian/2013/01/28/pole-dancing-your-library/  [...]