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I Was a Stripper Librarian

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Member Reviews

I’m pretty sure we’ve all had those thoughts of ‘if I became a prostitute or a stripper I could earn some more money,’ however not many people actually do it!

Kristy really wanted to be a librarian and in the states you need a masters agree to be one (I find that so strange by the way). She was worried about being able to afford to attend out of state school but like most students figured she would work it out. Kristy had thought about stripping a few times and found herself being drawn to it, so when her $80k of debt started to feel overwhelming and she couldn’t find a librarian job that paid better than minimum wage, she decided to just give it a go.

She takes us on her journey of researching the logistics of stripping (some places require you to have a licence), using forums to find out the rules of the game and discovering which clubs had good and bad reputations. We then experience her journey of stripping; what the girls were like, who the customers were, what the expectations of customers were and how people end up transitioning from stripper to prostitute/escort.

As she discovers this world do sex work, she is balancing it all with being a student and working in a library! Literally such different worlds.

I really liked the honest insight into Kristy’s experience and that she is determined that people don’t see her as a victim but rather somebody who made a choice to pursue a career. She does touch on others who she met who clearly weren’t making the same conscious decisions as she was but also doesn’t attempt to tell their story.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. And as much as stripping and strip clubs aren’t for me, it is quite strange that there is such a stigma attached, yet films/shows like Magic Mike are accepted as mainstream. I’ve got to say, I found the last few chapters a bit unusual, the book on the whole was approachable and easy to read. Then I was hit by a more academic style for the final few chapters. I think there was some important information (although if I’m honest I didn’t care much about the library reform work), but it didn’t match the rest of the book.

Don’t get me wrong, I will not be allowing my boyfriend to go to a strip club anytime soon, but I think more media like this is required to remind us that it isn’t all seedy and unlawful.
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I Was a Stripper Librarian
From Cardigans to G-strings
by Kristy Cooper
Olivier
Biographies & Memoirs | Nonfiction (Adult) | OwnVoices
Pub Date 30 Jul 2021   |   Archive Date 30 Sep 2021

It's not every day I see a title like this one... I was a Stripper Librarian.  Not many librarians I know would be tempted to go in this way.  Yes, it was an interesting book. It's just not one I would purchase for our library. 
Yes, Kristy learned a lot about herself in the process and relates all the ways being a stripper is like being a librarian.  I just don't see myself being compared to a stripper.  Good book!  Just not one I will be recommending. 
Thanks to Kristy Cooper, Oliver and NetGalley for the chance to read the ARC. 
3 star
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Human nature makes this story interest by nature - the duality of life strikes for us all. Few will ever share the life of a stripper and aspiring librarian, but this book shows just how fascinating it can be. Great look at a wild life in a personal manner.
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This is a memoir that is guaranteed to cause readers to really think about what they are reading. While the author was in graduate school (University of Michigan) she began stripping to earn money. Kristy gives an almost academic glimpse into the world of strippers and is seemingly able to discern how far she could go and maintain her safety and anonymity. She writes about the staggering debt of graduate school which many readers will be able to relate to. Will college debt make you a stripper? No. Will reading this book make you want to strip? Highly doubtful. But this book will make you think.
There WILL be pearl clutching over this book as the librarian stereotype of being a buttoned up nerd collides with the image of being a stripper. However, Kristy is very active in fighting social justice as seen in her Library Defense role and hopefully this book will help take the stigma and judgement out of sw.
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I was immediately drawn to this book by the title alone. I was excited to dive into some scandalous, possibly drama filled, strip club stories. I was expecting wild accounts of experiences that I couldn't even imagine. I was extremely let down that everything in this book was so mild and tame. I really didn't find any part of it exciting. It was interesting to see how Kristy felt compelled to hide her two lives and keep them completely separate from each other, but even the details provided here weren't that exciting to me. Everything felt bland and I felt myself skimming quite a bit because I knew I wouldn't miss anything riveting if I did.. I even skipped the last 10% of the book because I found it too boring to finish.
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I was provided with a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for this.

Wow. What a refreshing, interesting and well written memoir. This book tells the story of house the author started stripping whilst doing a post graduate masters degree to become a librarian. She presents it in a very honest way. That in some ways, it was better than any minimum wage waitressing gig, but in other ways very physically and emotionally demanding. 

One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was that I think the author was very upfront about the fact that she came into stripping from quite a priveleged background, and that it gave her many advantages that other women did not have. She also acknowledges that whilst it was a choice for her, a lot of women are forced into it which is not ok.

I thought this was a really well written memoir that taught me an awful lot about both sex work and libraries. It's unique and I would strongly recommend it.
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Kristy Cooper gives a great bird's eye view of what it's like to be a stripper, especially if you come from an academic, privileged, or "vanilla" background. We make many assumptions and place people into stereotypes based on narratives we've learned in our upbringing, environments, and the media; this concept is blown out of the water in this memoir! Not all women strip to please abusing boyfriends or pimps, and sex work IS REAL WORK, and one that should be made safer for those choose it. Cooper made valid points when speaking about the library industry-it's a profession that costs a lot of money to go to school for, yet is not high paid and extremely hard to attain a fulltime position that pays enough. This speaks volumes about the costs of our educational system and how we continue to encourage youngsters to go to college despite knowing that it will do nothing but cripple them financially with no guarantee of a steady job upon graduation. People want to look down upon those who strip, yet why is it those that strip can earn a higher wage than those working in these so-called "noble fields" like librarianship? It's high time people realize that there is NO shame in wanting to earn more money, and when you get down to the bare bones, money is money, no matter how it's made! Public librarians and strippers do share a common denominator, believe it or not, they engage with customers and participate in exchange of information, and often times, both sets of regular patrons are very lonely. As a former burlesque performer and professional librarian, I really enjoyed reading this biography and can't wait to recommend to every librarian and/or dancer I know! Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for sending this ARC!
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To be honest, I'm not sure that the title and cover of this book do it justice. While, they are certainly attention-grabbing, I fear that many will write this book off as being a joke and not take it seriously. Don't get me wrong, the title made me laugh, but I just hope potential readers take the time to read the description to actually get a sense of what Kristy Cooper is actually writing about and what she hopes to accomplish by sharing her story. Cooper writes intelligently and honestly about her experiences as a stripper, as well as in the library field, and it is fascinating to read about the similarities between the two. I would have liked to read more about her library advocacy days, but overall it was an eye-opening read.
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I will skip the synopsis because the title pretty much tells it all. This book was fun, but also important. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work at a strip club, here’s your chance. As a former club worker, her stories really brought memories back for me. Kristy really showed the balance between real life and a club persona. I also loved how this helped to show most dancers are working out of personal choice, and it can be very empowering. I wasn’t as into the librarian aspect of the memoir, but I know for many, that will be even more interesting! There’s a balance to the story, just like the author’s experiences.

“That was when I was in the strangest, most anxious state of mind - sitting somewhere in public, trying to mentally transition from acting serious and responsible to being sexy and fun.”

I Was A Stripper Librarian comes out 7/30.
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This book tells the story of the author's experiences working as a stripper, and then as a librarian, and later her efforts as an activist and advocate for sex workers.

The first few chapters describe how Cooper came to the decision to become a stripper, primarily to pay off her student loans. Her candid account of her experience is surprising, and it helps to remove old stereotypes about sex workers. She explains battling with her nerves and trying to build up the courage to go onstage, and later pushing through her introverted personality to offer dances to customers.

Later chapters deal more with working as a librarian; and here too, certain stereotypes are dashed as she explains what her life was like. It was interesting to hear about the types of tasks that made up her day as a librarian; and entertaining to hear about how she was able to juggle the “double life” of working both jobs.

Overall, I actually learned quite a bit about both professions, and Cooper's storytelling ability made it an easy and fun read. I found her story inspiring, and was impressed with her desire to make the world a safer place for other less fortunate people that are forced into the sex worker life.
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I Was a Stripper Librarian by Kristy Cooper is an in-depth look at the struggles of librarianship and affording the growing cost of higher education. I am a librarian, so this book gave me a lot of feels. All the parts about librarianship, paying for school, and earning a degree marketed as necessary and then not being able to find a job, hit me right in the gut. I found the stripping parts interesting, but surprisingly I was hoping for more on Cooper’s library career.  

The content of the book was super interesting, however I think this book could have been helped with some more editing. The organization of the stories was a little off and all over the place, and the writing could have been stronger. But Cooper’s story is strong enough to carry the book despite these flaws.

A solid read that all librarians and library professionals will appreciate. I definitely recommend! 3.75 stars.

I received a free digital ARC from NetGalley and Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op in exchange for an honest review.
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"Stripping had become an itch that I needed to scratch." I Was a Stripper Librarian will work for those who still find it surprising that people who work in the sex industry are able to move careers and work in different industries at different points in time. As a memoir, it's pretty dry reading for those who don't find this a surprising premise.

The autobiographical tale basically is a blow-by-blow description of every part time job the author, Kristy Cooper, had during her degree in library studies. It's topped and tailed by self-righteous rants about sex work that could have been more generously written considering the writer's obvious internalised stigma that permeates the rest of the text: "I was never actually ashamed of stripping, but I was ashamed of how others might perceive me if they knew."

"The same psychology worked for the girls who performed tricks after hours—they could believe that they were not prostitutes but just strippers." Along with reinforcing the whorearchy (a hierarchy between sex workers who work in different ways), the other big problem with this book is language slippage between the widely accepted term, sex workers and the maligned term, sometimes occurring within the one paragraph. It's clear that in the latter part of her sex industry career, the writer met sex worker activists and got inducted into sex worker politics. It would have been nice if she had chosen to set up her terminology use in the first part of the memoir, rather than randomly interchanging the terms throughout.

"Attending graduate school at an elite university represented a class divide, but at the same time, I was there working the pole with them." The author has a rudimentary understanding of class, and often reinforces the class divide while trying to do the opposite: "I also got compliments on how white and straight my teeth were. I realized they were that way because of the privilege of having had access to orthodontic work as a child, which many of the women I worked with did not have." While I appreciate the book is demonstrating the writer moving towards an intersectional approach to feminism, it does mean reading "all my typical whiney thoughts" that might be frustrating for a genuinely intersectional reader.

"Apparently, people didn't think they could get a lap dance from someone who had done better than them on a standardized test."And finally, tacked on at the end, is a weird rant about library activism, written in a different style from the rest of the book. I found it lazy. If the book is about being a stripper librarian, treat both careers in the same way, in a cohesive narrative. Really, it's not very surprising people who have worked as sex workers have a lot of other jobs in their lives. Sex work is simply work that pays well, and allows you to start unskilled (though hustling and dealing with customers are skills you clearly have to develop) so is attractive to people completing degrees.
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I found this book to be very eye opening. I had no idea about the struggle behind sex work. After reading this book, I have more knowledge about the topic and respect for the people within this type of work. The title alone caught my eye and I am glad that I was given the opportunity to read this one. To Kristy- I am sorry that you were afraid to give this book to publishers originally with your real name on it. This is not something that should be hidden or embarrassed about. Penelope, I think you are brave and courageous. I applaud you for putting your voice out here and telling your readers the truth. This is a book that everyone needs to read.
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I was a stripper librarian was such a great read :) I learnt so much about what it takes to be a librarian and the raw inside view of the stripper world :) this had me wanting to keep turning the pages and find out how and where she ended up :) loved it and I’m excited to check out her other books :)
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I was really skeptical about this book when I first saw it, but was intrigued enough to request the title and begin reading.

I'm still not completely sure how I feel about it, but as far as memoirs from non-celebreties go...I am enjoying it. Cooper's writing is well done (before she got her MLIS and before she became a stripper she was an english major) and her voice is entertaining. From the first couple pages she captures you. She talks about her time as a struggling grad student which, recently a grad student myself, was all too relatable. She writes in a way that makes you feel that she is just like you. She has the same struggles, same bills to pay, same worries at night, and through this voice and writing you understand why she made the choice to become a stripper. 

Cooper's story is fun as well as eye opening. She isn't the first or only woman to go into stripping to make ends meet and along the way you are introduced to an interesting group of people just trying to make their way in the world.
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My thanks to NetGalley and Olivier Publishing for a copy of “ I was A Stripper Librarian “ for an honest review.

Of course I was attracted to this due to the title, but unfortunately I just couldn’t get into this book so I must admit I only skimmed through it.
I really think it might just be that this book isn’t for me , as others are more enamoured by it.I’ve given this an average score due to this.
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How crippling education fees led to a part time job as a stripper. Not a forced or coerced decision but a rational one. How trying to find a full-time job in the professional environment of public libraries was difficult. A very honest and revealing book. Not a seedy or graphic but real.
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I enjoyed reading this book and considering the similarities and differences between a stripper and librarian! The author gives plenty of detail and is open about her views and choices she has made. I struggled with the writing style at times, it took me a while to get into the story.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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If you've read Diary of an Angry Stripper, you're familiar with how student debt can drive someone into stripping. She went to an out-of-state university to get her master's degree. She seems to not value having a master's degree all that highly. She discusses issues which face both strippers and librarians. She gets involved in librarian activism that shows up at the end of the book. It's a riveting tale that is worth a look.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Oliver Publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. <i>I Was a Stripper Librarian</i> is scheduled for release on July 30th, 2021.

I Was a Stripper Librarian by Kristy Cooper is a woman’s memoir about her journey to pursue her masters in library sciences and how that introduced her to the world of sex work and how that in turn influenced the rest of her life and her career as a librarian. 

I love that this book reads like a novel but I still felt like I was learning about a whole new world (even if I’ve already forgotten most if not all of it by the time I sat down to write this review). Kristy’s writing is concise and funny and it really makes you feel like you’re there with her in the club or at the library reference desk.

While this was a fun and entertaining read, it also opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot of issues in the library community. For one, Kristy’s particular grad program was absolute bullshit and needs to be stopped. Another thing is that apparently local politicians actively want to get rid of libraries. I already know how important libraries are and that they need to be protected at all costs from the demon spawns spelled “über-wealthy” and the capitalist hellscape that we are currently living in (sorry, that just got away from me for a second), but I didn’t know how difficult that would prove to be. 

I Was a Stripper Librarian is a great book that is at the crossroads of sex work, activism, and life after college. Obviously it has mature themes a day yes, the author does use curse words. I really enjoyed this book end I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about life as a sex worker or recent dramatic library history or anyone looking for a good memoir.
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