Cover Image: I Was a Stripper Librarian

I Was a Stripper Librarian

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

An interesting premise, and very eye catching cover. But I found myself struggling to get through this book. I think the writing style was not quite right for my tastes. I felt like the book took too long to make the connections between Ms. Cooper's two careers. For the most part, it was really a memoir of her time as a stripper. That's fine, but it was not exactly what I was expecting. 

I appreciate the honesty and vulnerability that the author demonstrated by writing and publishing this story. That being said, there were a few parts I struggled with, thinking in terms of her being a mother, as am I. But, that is surely my own biases coming to surface, and it is good for me to continue to read things that challenge those. 

While this was not really what I expected, and unfortunately not a book that really grabbed me and drew me in, it is still an interesting idea and a good read for someone who wants to know more about stripping or sex work in general.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 ⭐️

I wasn’t particularly sure what to expect from this book but I was certainly more than a little intrigued by the title.

I considered that it would be filled with humorous stories and anecdotes from the author, based on her real life experiences, but it actually made for quite sad and stark reading.

It throws you into the deep end straight away without much introduction and the author states that stripping became “an itch I needed to scratch.”  I never really understood why that was the case other than she met a stripper and thought it seemed like a good way to make money to make dents in her quite substantial student debts.  This idea of it being an itch to scratch didn’t really make much sense to me since she clearly did have some issue with people finding out her secret identity and although she did not feel ashamed to get her goods out for money, she also did not appear to enjoy it either?  

Don’t get me wrong, I found this book to be an interesting read and it made sense of course that many strippers had not actually chosen this path because of drug addiction, social situation, background, because they had no other option or because they had been forced into it.  Many strippers are from privileged backgrounds and are there because they want to be and do not require “saving” as the author explains.  What was also interesting was the discussion about other forms of sex work and the current laws around this.  The author is not for decriminalising all sex work, and instead talks about things that could be put in place to make trafficking more difficult and making the industry a safer place.

The final part of the book I found to be at odds with the rest.  The author goes into a bit of a strange political rant about library activism.  Yes she’s also a librarian and I get that, but it was written in a different style to the rest of the book and it just felt weird and tacked on.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher Olivier for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
In Kristy Cooper’s memoir we follow her career from stripping through her masters degree to eventually advocating in local library science politics fourteen years later. Cooper, like most students in higher education, needed to take out loans to meet her aspiration to be a librarian and this is where the journey begins!

This memoir definitely satisfies a lot of curiosity around the balance and nature of sex work fitting into daily life. Cooper’s educational and financial situation is relatable to many young Americans, so it’s easy to understand her decisions without associating stigmas. We hear about the routine before, during, after work, romantic relationships, career shifts and struggles, and general concerns and demands of the industry. 

When she was a beginner, you feel like you’re there with her. When she grows through the industry, we see her grow into herself more. And as she transitions full time into her desired field, there’s a lot of raw differences and pay offs. The book feels chronological with the former half consisting of more narration and dialogue, while the latter half is developmental of her transition to higher level library science.

I liked the last few chapters a lot because of how educational they were as a conclusion. Lots to be said for how technology has changed both industries she worked in and she mentions plenty of resources that help show how sex work fits into current affairs. 

There’s something to be satisfied or learned in here for all kinds of readers. Definitely worth a read! The writing isn’t amazing, but stay for the story. Life is weird and her story is a fun, fast one.
Was this review helpful?
I Was a Stripper Librarian by Kristy Cooper

Full feature for this title will be posted at: @queensuprememortician on Instagram!
Was this review helpful?
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. It was however, a well told, often funny account of how the author supplemented income whilst studying in the US for a Librarian degree, by stripping in a club. It was interesting to see how the two very different worlds mixed due to the experiences of the author. Very interesting.
Was this review helpful?
Kristy Cooper provides a complete story of the struggles of a librarian earning an expensive master’s degree, but only being able to find part-time library work to gain experience. As much as this memoir is about Cooper becoming a stripper to earn enough money to pay back her student loans, it is more about the state of libraries with tight budgets and part-time professional staff who earn minimum wage and do not have health benefits.  Cooper uses her gumption to fight for librarians to earn a livable wage. Recommended for librarians and library board members. The only complaint is the subtitle of the book: from cardigans to G-strings which fires straight into the negative stereotype so often applied to librarians. At least the subtitle does not refer to cat sweaters.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fantastic autobiography. Stripping is still a taboo subject today, even though pole dancing and stripping is becoming more and more popular. I think this really helped break away the stigma and help the reader see the perspective of the world through new eyes. I do pole dancing for fun and exercise so I know a lot of men and women that work in the industry and some of them are the most incredible people you will ever meet. Please read this book. You won’t regret it!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

As a librarian myself I found this so incredibly interesting. I related so much to struggle of getting my first job following graduating. Working multiple jobs to try and gain experience in the industry and earn money is something I myself had to do, but my second job happened to be in a bank and not stripping. Thankfully the Higher Education system in Scotland meant I didn't quite as much debt and no end date for paying off the small amount I had to borrow to complete my Masters.

I loved hearing her stories from both stripping and working as a librarian. I also loved that it helped to disprove the librarian stereotypes I truly hate! I myself have never shushed anyone but have been shushed. I don't think you become a real librarian until this happens haha.

The research she helped with in the information needs of strippers sounds incredibly interesting and I hope I can find this article to have a read! Information need and information literacy is where my interests lie research wise.

I really enjoyed getting to read this!
Was this review helpful?
I was so sold when I heard the premise of this book! It's definitely an attention grabber that's really relatable and somewhat unexpected. I found the stripper aspect of this book really fascinating and it's important to get perspectives on sex work and sex workers. I feel as though there's a common misconception that sex work is really degrading and therefore sex workers should be degraded and this book really highlights the personal choice aspect of all of those things.
Was this review helpful?
Oh my everything. This is genuinely one of the best memoirs I have ever read. Everybody should read this book immediately.

First off, Cooper's personal story is touching and I really empathized with her throughout the story. First hand accounts of sex work always really hit me and this book was no different. I loved how she detailed her thought process and explained her life at the time. There was no sugar coating, just raw honesty, and the emotion that the author put into this book shone through so clearly

I loved all of the characters that Cooper introduced from both sides of her life. From the repeat members frequenting the strip club to the classmates in grad school, everyone who was included really added to the story and served a purpose. Cooper is a talented writer and I would love to see more from her. 

The last chapter was filled with resources on this topic and I very much intend on reading some of the recommended books.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks, NetGalley for the advanced copy! 

I enjoyed reading this book. One of the things I most enjoyed is how she included not only the stories of being a stripper but the harm that can be done, most importantly the dangers of sex work and how little there is from the law for protection. Learning the culture of sex work was enlightening and a bit surprised with what can actually happen in clubs. The female relationships were aggressive and it would be a struggle to do that every day. I was even more surprised by the male strippers that were described.

I'm sure many people have thought about stripping to make extra money. The author was very relatable to me because I am also a librarian. I felt the frustration of finding a library job after spending so much money on my degree and not paying enough to pay for the college that was required to get the job. (FYI look into Public Service Loan Forgiveness) I bartending and it isn't the same as stripping but the horrible men you have to deal with are very similar with the way they behave.
Was this review helpful?
DNF. Didn’t like writing style. Picked up and put down few times. Just wasn’t for me. Thanks for chance to read this.
Was this review helpful?
I Was A Stripper Librarian by Kristy Cooper is the eye-opening real story of a grad student who begins to work the pole in order to ease the burden of student debt. 
Along the way, she learns a lot about human nature and herself. 
It’s an insightful look into two worlds that intersect with each other in more ways than one.  
I loved the honesty and vulnerability. 
Five Stars
Was this review helpful?
I went in to this thinking it was going to be superficially entertaining with some shock tactics and wild stories of bad behaviour and debauchery. Instead it was original, engaging, and thought provoking. It is a story written from a unique female perspective; the voice being intelligent, unapologetic and matter-of-fact. The writing was sharp and it held it’s own. I found it intriguing and entertaining from start to finish. 5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley, the author and publishers for the opportunity to read and review "I was a Stripper Librarian".

Well, this was a book full of surprises! A fascinating, seemingly honest warts and all discussion about the author's pursuit of a library career whilst finding the means to reduce her exorbitant student loans. And what a story it is.  Here we have the sex industry opened out and insight provided as to why, who and where more people have turned to the sex services industry, whether it be stripping, dancing or more. It's not salacious, it's not titivating. It just comes across as a very well-written piece of epidemiological participant observant research, although that appears to have been just a by-product of the author's experiences!

For the insight and knowledge provided, I would give this 5* given how well this author has penned her work. It's also fascinating and alarming to have the reality of exorbitant costs of higher-level Education and how expense does not necessarily guarantee a decent course. It is instead a disturbing expose of the ridiculous costs versus the low-quality programmes some universities are providing and profiting from. 
The author also highlights the dichotomy over library service provision, cutbacks and poor wages/staffing levels. What price Education?  So disturbing that successive governments the world over are reducing the facilities and educational input libraries can and must provide both now and in the future. 
Was this review helpful?
As a librarian, I was intrigued by this memoir of a librarian who also identifies as a stripper. But, to be honest, it just didn't interest me as much as I'd hoped. The author did impress me with her advocacy of libraries, though! This is not a book I'd recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Such an interesting and enjoyable read.  Becoming a librarian has always been my "what if I had?" career and I support sex work, so this title grabbed me instantly. Cooper provided an insight into both professions that wasn't sugar coated, nor sensationalized. She shared the shared the heart-warming bonds she made with coworkers and clients at the strip club, but also discussed how hard it was to have to come in each day ready to hustle. Likewise, she shared her joy of working with clients in the library and running programs, while also acknowledging that there are some systemic issues in the field and that jobs are becoming increasingly scarce and underpaid. Learning about Cooper's advocacy at the end of her memoir added an extra as well, urging the reader to get involved in advocating for their libraries and for safe sex work.
Was this review helpful?
Fascinating read.  The author's narrative is honest and relatable.  In addition to an illuminating look at sex work, it shined a light on the often depressing state of library work.  Towards the end of the book, she recounts her exploits as a library advocate in the face of recalcitrant library boards.  As a librarian myself, I really appreciated seeing someone fight so hard for the principles we stand for and for the dignity of fellow librarians.
Was this review helpful?
During a time when women of all professions have come under fire for having a personal Only Fans or similar accounts, this read was very apt. Cooper writes with a combination of stark reality and humor, traversing her history in both library and stripper industries, and includes criticisms of legality, judgement, and the necessity so many find in alternative incomes. There is also an emphasis on the fact that some people desire work such as stripping; it isn't an industry only filled with hapless people without another choice. I wasn't sure what to expect out of this, in all honesty, but it was incredibly enjoyable!
Was this review helpful?
This was just  ... bad.  Even for the novety factor, it really was hard to get through.  The writing style didn't flow, the story didn't flow.  I felt like I was reading someone's paper.   Pass.
Was this review helpful?