Check It Out: New Calendar Features Librarians' Tattoos

The latest calendar from the Texas Librarian's Association is long "overdue."

ByABC News
July 31, 2009, 5:51 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 1, 2009— -- The newest calendar girls have heads -- and pages -- turning.

Twenty-one women with the Texas Library Association are showing off some illustrations of their own in a new calendar called "The Tattooed Ladies of TLA." It's all a part of their latest fund-raiser for the Texas Library Disaster Fund, which helps libraries along the Gulf Coast recover from hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other natural disasters.

"It was just a fun thing to do," said Gretchen Hoffmann, 42, who turned up the heat as Miss August 2010 by posing on a row boat, a purple boa strategically draped to highlight the starfish tattoo on her upper back. "I like the idea that the calendars are stereotype-busters. You don't usually see [librarians] as tattooed and sexy. We're not the little old ladies who walk around with buns."

The 40-page spread features past and present librarians throughout the Lone Star State, modeling tattoos of all shapes, sizes and locations.

"I'm somewhat amazed at the response we've had," said Miss June 2010, aka Melody Kelly, 62, associate dean of libraries at the University of North Texas and former president of TLA.

Kelly, who sports the universal symbol for goddess on her ankle, says the organization has received calls from fans around the world asking if they can check-out the calendar. Thursday morning alone, the association had received more than 60 online orders.

"I am just so thrilled -- it's phenomenal," she said. "There's a need for disaster funds to buy materials and help with shelving in small towns that don't have the resources."

The colorful idea came up in 2007, a year after the "Men of Texas Libraries" calendar flew off the shelves and quickly sold out, bringing in more than $9,000 in donations. After noticing the tattoos on some of her colleagues, Kelly suggested the women capitalize on their inked assets.

"It was one of those ideas that just floated around for a while until someone decided to finally work on it," said Hoffmann, who served as president of TLA when the men's calendar was released. "Now it's more than a buzz. It's an explosion."