On Romancing the Stacks at #SAA15, or Archival Supply Porn: Literary Edition

Since there seems to be in influx of snarky ladies (and the people who love them) visiting the blog, I thought I’d bump up one of my favorite posts, originally published August 31, 2015. Consider it fodder for a boring, dreary, drizzly Friday when you’d rather do anything else but work. Sit and ponder the stories below and the myriad of ways a glass of wine and a mind overflowing with sarcasm can improve the world of librarian lust lit.

Settle into your swooning chair and prepare to clutch those pearls because it’s time for Archival Supply Porn: Librarian Lust Edition, Revisted.


I didn’t go to SAA. Instead, I followed along on Twitter, eagerly stalking session tags and Tweeters who worked hard and heavy transcribing nearly every little thing that happened in Cleveland. Not only did the Tweeters regale us #SAAleftbehind with tales of the best coffee in town, gossip about dues increases, and aching foot remedies, they also shared the professional development love: links to different archives, interesting websites, transcriptions of nearly entire sessions (140 characters at a time; the dedication was unwavering). Power Points and PDFs were posted, and for that I’m grateful.

I previously wrote about the sessions I’d attend, if I attended, and initially overlooked session #703, on Reading from the Crypt: Tales of Archives, Horror, and Dystopia. I’m not a fan of fiction, and definitely not a fan of horror (or dystopia or sci-fi or all those fun things the hip kids are into), so archives in fiction, while interesting in theory, just wasn’t my bag. Then the Tweeting started. Titles and recommendations started flying. The constant back and forth between attendees over “Did anyone catch that author?” or “What was that last one called?”  led to the crowdsourced creation of book lists on Goodreads.com.

There is “Reading Through an Archival Lens”, listing “Fiction featuring archives, archivists, memory, and/or record-keeping, and books that can otherwise be read “through an archival lens.”” And “Best Fiction Books Featuring Libraries, Archives, and Museums”.

The list that I found the most fascinating was “Romance Books About Librarians and Archivists”. Ladies and gents, get ready. Pour yourself a glass of wine and grab a box of chocolate; undo that bun and let’s get started. This is Archival Supply Porn: Literary Edition.

If you thought of librarians and archivists as unsexed cardigan-wearers who go home and fawn over their cats, you’re not alone. So do a lot of romance novelists. But we know better. Thar be lust under those acrylic knit sweaters that will not be restrained by the top buttons! Courtesy of the fine folks at session #703, here are some of the titles that will be making your steel shelves quake, your hygrometers go off the charts, and push your desiccants to their limits.

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All photos from Goodreads.com unless noted.

The Girl with the Cat Tattoo, by Theresa Weir. Let me guess — the girl with the cat tat is the librarian?

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The Librarian’s Passionate Knight, by Cindy Gerard. The cover on the archivist version features an on-time Iron Mountain delivery guy. With extra transmittal forms. Rawr!

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The Librarian, by Lee Brazil.  The title doesn’t really do much for the imagination, but the cover features two hot, shirtless dudes and the blurb says something about celibacy, which goes with the librarian stereotype nicely.

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The Lawmans Librarian, by Rebecca Brochu. Abandoning the stereotype that librarians are old hags, this softcore softcover presents us with a hot gay male information professional (hint: he’s the one in the requisite geek glasses).

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A Librarian’s Desire, by Ava Delany. You mean librarians desire more than a magic button that releases a trap door that makes problem patrons at the reference desk fall into a rancor pit? Because I know of a librarian out west who really desires a rancor pit in front of the reference desk.

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Virgin Seeks Bad-Ass Boy, by Ruth D. Kerce. Holy wow. I do not know how to process this. I can see the allure of a “bad-ass boy” … But just a quickie? Pfft. Typical librarian. Archivists keep it going longer.

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Junk, by Josephine Miles. [chokes on coffee]. A tale about an archivist who has a problem with his junk. He’s got a hoarding problem, you see. A hoarding problem. Get your mind out of the gutter…

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What the Librarian Did, by Karina Bliss. Was it sit at the reference desk, staring longingly at the horny teenagers sneaking off behind the stacks, wishing she could do the same before throwing caution to the wind, pulling off that stupid blue necktie, and heading to the nearest bar so she could get shit-faced on gimlets then fuck the bartender? Please let it be the librarian getting shit-faced and fucking the bartender!!!

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The Book of True Desires , by Betina Krahn… You mean it’s not this?

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Dewey Decimal System of Love, by Josephine Carr. Oh, Christ on a frigging pony, really?!?! The glasses. The catalog card. The Dewey Decimal System of Love? If we’re going this route, let’s riff off Ranganathan’s fifth law of library science and make The Librarian Has a Growing Orgasm.

A softcore series parodying the tenets of library science? I’d buy it.

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