Jaina Shaw is the Westport Library‘s popular and creative teen services librarian.
She’s also very cool.
Now she’s famous too.
In 2014, photographer Kyle Cassidy published a series of photos on Slate. Called “This is What a Librarian Looks Like,” the images — of black, white and brown men and women; some with multi-color hair, dreads, beards and piercings — pierced the stereotype of the staid sssshhhh-monster.
The feature was so popular, Cassidy set up a booth at the next American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
Jaina was there, and wandered by. She wrote a statement, posed for a photo — and now she’s in the book that Cassidy just published.
It too is called “This is What a Librarian Looks Like.”
Jaina’s quote is this:
When I went into librarianship, my friends and family said, “Aren’t you a little loud for that?” But libraries need to have loud people.
Growing up, I went to the library almost every day and nobody ever asked my name. I want to make that experience different for teens. I want them to feel that they’re important – that what they read or watch or play or geek out to matters. I want them to know that there’s a place where they can be themselves.
Libraries don’t grade you or judge you or care that you have the right Uggs or whatever. Just be yourself. We are here for you.
Jaina is certainly there for every Westport kid.
Patrons of all ages love her.
Thanks to Kyle Cassidy, everyone who buys this book will love her too.