Swansea library attracts attention of a very different breed
A CITY librarian has blown the lid on the little known sexy side of borrowing books.
Kerry Pillai, manager of Swansea Library, is reported to have said what should be quiet havens of peace and serenity were actually attracting the attention of a very different breed of person.
Speaking to a national newspaper, the former slimming champion spoke about the issue of libraries being considered sexy places.
Most people see them as places in which to expand their horizons, read in peace or pick up a few more nuggets of information about the world around them, in books or via the internet.
But Ms Pillai told the Observer magazine there was a big following on the internet for sites on librarians and people with library fetishes.
She is quoted as saying: "I don't know why.
"But we do have a lot of attractive staff here.
"I did get sniffed once in the lifts."
The library manager is currently away on annual leave so was unavailable to expand on her comments.
Swansea Council, which owns the central library, said it had used libraries for speed dating.
"Our libraries have been transformed in recent years," said a spokesman.
"We have broadened their appeal by increasing the range of services such as providing access to the internet, lending CDs and DVDs, holding regular mums and toddlers activities with children's entertainers and celebrity book-readings and other events such as speed-dating that you wouldn't normally associate with libraries."
The article also sparked the interest of a Swansea Library blogger who goes by the pseudonym of Paige Turner and posted a link to the online version of the story on her Twitter feed on Monday.
Ms Pillai's comments also echo those of New York Times best-selling author Holly Black who wrote on her website that "librarians are hot".
The writer is the co-creator of the popular children's series of books known as The Spiderwick Chronicles.
She wrote: "Librarians are hot.
"They have knowledge and power over their domain.
"It is no coincidence how many librarians are portrayed as having a passionate interior, hidden by a cool layer of reserve.
"Aren't books like that? On the shelf, their calm covers belie the intense experience of reading one.
"Reading inflames the soul.
In April 2004 a website published an article by Michael Farrelly entitled The Sexy Library.
Mr Farrelly wrote: "Perhaps it's the forced formality of a library.
"The pressure based both on rules and inherent public space formality, to keep quiet and focused.
"Like a held in giggle or a repressed dirty joke libraries are just brimming with this undercurrent of the impossible possible sexual urge and action."