Kawaii Kon – A Volunteer Saga

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Kawaii Kon has come and gone. An excited event filled with numerous events and guests from all over the world. To a happy Kon!

This year was my second year volunteering for our public library system booth located inside Kawaii Kon’s Artist Alley. I must say, it was a fun and interactive experience, learning new things as time goes on. My partner in crime being Hillary C., my co-presenter from our 2017 Hawaii Library Association panel on graphic novels.

I was only able to stay for 1 hour due to a last-minute schedule change with my volunteering time for Kawaii Kon but what an hour! We interacted with 80 people in 1 hour! Considering how quiet Sundays usually are for a convention and we came in after the lunch rush, I’d say that’s pretty awesome.

How it worked: Attendees who show their library card can get a choice of a manga or book! This year there were puzzle books and superhero graphic novels aside from manga and literature. No library card? No problem! Get a free pencil or sticker! Grab a library card application to fill out and turn in to your nearest library to have a card and account set up.

Why volunteer: Get the library out into the community! Libraries are just filled with classical literature. There are still people surprised and happy to see the public library booth at the convention, it makes us happy to be noticed.

Is cosplay mandatory at the booth? Not at all, go with yourcomfort zone. Cosplay? Always a good idea! Also an excuse to wear cute costumes! No cosplay? No problem! If anyone asks, say you’re displaying as an otaku librarian. I can say that as my official “cosplay” for 2 years.

I hope to continue my volunteer saga so we’ll see about next year! 😄

Book Club Ideas?

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Ideas! I’ve been brainstorming ideas to hopefully build a book club for the library. Been meaning to have one but I admit, I feel like I’m trying to put all these ideas into play in so little amount of time. It’s time to sit down, focus, and breathe. Make a 5 year plan. Not a 1 year “do all the things” plan!

Continue reading Book Club Ideas?

Favorite Links – December 2017

Inspired by Teen Services Underground, today’s post will be a collection of links I found that struck my interest. For an awesome and recent example of TSU’s “Links of the Month”, feel free to click on the link to view.

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Program Ideas: Bullet Journal

Preparing for my upcoming Bullet Journal Workshop for Teens, Buzzfeed had a helpful post on ways to track your mental health in your journal. I feel this is important to know; I’ve had several teen patrons tell me that they are unable to attend programs at the library due to feeling “overloaded” at school and other activities. I feel you, I’ve been there; I’ve been keeping track of at least one happy thing that happened a day. Whether it be a good patron interaction or bringing a good lunch, it’s nice to look back at a nice thing that made my happy on that day.

A Bullet Journal idea masterpost! When I first looked it over, I couldn’t believe I didn’t think about making a tracker for watching my Netflix series, skincare routine, or reading comics. I understand, I’m behind on tracking graphic novels I’ve read (usually would put the title under a date I started/finished) but this helps. However this gave me more ideas, I’m afraid I’ll need another journal by the time it’s Summer 2018!

Regarding the Bullet Journal ideas, here is a Tumblr dedicated to studying and note-taking. I’ve used the Cornell Notes method since middle school and has stuck with me since. I went from lined to blank pages in a Moleskin journal during college and now I’m going to dot journals but always the same template. The Cornell Notes template is good when we have staff meetings or when I’m brainstorming ideas.

Graphic Novel Talk

From the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, an article “How Comics Conquered Libraries”. A must-read when it comes to understanding how the rise of graphic novels in our libraries have made way for literacy.

Comics, the King of Libraries rings true with this Publisher’s Weekly article. There is mention of attempts to ban comics, how digital comics run through libraries, acquiring webcomics, and the continuing rise for these books. Indeed there is a growing demand for comics and with public libraries being a channel for people to access comics for free, we’ll continue to see that demand rise. Honestly I’m intrigued by the banning of books, particularly graphic novels. There is still the presumption that due to the graphic medium, the books are only for children. With suggested age ratings on the books, librarians have shields to explain to those who wish to ban graphic novels. I believe with proper guidance, graphic novels of all levels will be accepted.

I hope to make this a monthly thing, to share things I come across and to organize it all. Cheers and thanks for reading!

“Graphic Novels and You” Info

I figured I would make a separate post on the information regarding the brochure that was given out during the “Graphic Novels and You” panel Hillary and I hosted. I reformatted it so it fits a blog post rather than the trifold brochure. Please contact me if there are any questions!

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Photo by marguerite/Flickr

Top Recommended Graphic Novels for Your Library

  • Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Bone by Jeff Smith
  • Case Closed by Gosho Aoyama
  • The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
  • Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama
  • Fables by Bill Willingham
  • Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
  • Level Up by Gene Leung Yang
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman
  • Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu
  • Oishinbo by Tetsu Kariya and Akira Hanasaki
  • Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan
  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
  • A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima
  • Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore

(Note: Feedback from people who attended the panel, we should have added suggested age ratings as well as separate recommended lists for Juvenile, Teens, and Adults. This will be rectified in the future.)

Non-Fiction Books

  • Comics Confidential: 13 Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box by Leonard S. Marcus
  • 100 Greatest Graphic Novels: The Good. The Bad. The Epic. by Katrina Hill and Alex Langley
  • Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
  • Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Manga edited by Bart H. Beaty and Stephen Weiner
  • The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels by Francisca Goldsmith
  • Graphic Novels Core Collection edited by Kendal Spires, Gabriela Toth, and Maria Hugger

(Note: Originally the books were separated between books that were available for patrons to check out versus books that were used for reference-only/non-circulating use for library staff. I decided to put them together because shouldn’t have to be separated!)

Non-Fiction Electronic Resources

What is the Graphic Novel?

The Graphic Novel is defined as a story presented in comic-strip format and published as a book. It has many names from the East, from manga (Japan), manhua (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), manhwa (Korea) to the general term comics in the West. Graphic Novels appeal to all ages, now a part of the popular culture that encompasses movies, novels, television shows, and politics.

Age Ratings

Many publishers have a suggested rating on each graphic novel published, oftentimes on the back of the book. As a librarian, you use your judgment, research reviews, read
the graphic novel, ask colleagues in order to determine where the Graphic Novel should be (Adult/YA/Children collections). Graphic Novels have a general rating system across the board: E for Everyone, Y for Youth (10+), T for Teen (13+), OT for Older Teen (16+), and M for Mature (18+). This is a general system and certain publishers might have a different age rating (i.e. DC Comics has 15+ for OT but but Yen Press lists 16+) so it is something to keep in mind.

Articles

Don’t Judge a Manga by Its Rating…
From YALSA’s The Hub is an article about how sometimes you need look beyond the rating to determine if a graphic novel would be a sound choice for teens.
http://tiny.cc/yalgn

Graphic Novels: A Road Map to Academic Success
From the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is an article written on the empowerment of graphic novels.
http://tiny.cc/skoolgn

How Graphic Novels Became the Hottest Section in the Library
Publisher’s Weekly released an article on Graphic Novels and “How [They] Became the Hottest Section in the Library”. For one library, graphic novels make up 10% of the collection but accounts for 35% of their circulation.
http://tiny.cc/pwgn

The People’s Comics…
School Library Journal’s article “The People’s Comics: Using the Graphic Format to Teach About Current Events” is an excellent read regarding the graphic novel’s growing presence in the classroom.
http://tiny.cc/sljgn

(Note: Originally there were QR codes which readers can scan onto their phones to read but tiny urls were also included. I took our the QR codes for this post.)

Conference Time! – Day 2

Welcome to the part 2 series to “Conference Time! or I Can’t Believe I Made It Through The Weekend!”

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I was beat… with knowledge.*

Time to blog! Saturday was the second and last day of the HLA conference. Their full Saturday schedule can be found here.

It’s game time. I talked story with a couple friends I hadn’t seen then ran to the first panel of the day.

Escape the Library! How to Run an Escape Room at your Library (presented by Jennifer F.)

Escape Rooms are a worldwide phenomenon, both commercially and also now in library programming. These unique, live action adventure games promote collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking in a fun and exciting environment for all ages! Discover what an Escape Room is, how to plan one, and why! Learn helpful tips and suggestions for a successful Escape Room event. Q&A to follow. Especially recommended for public or school librarians.

Escape Rooms! The new thing that I see on my friend’s Instagram and Facebook feeds. I’ve seen at a couple malls but never tried it. It seemed best for groups and the cost was running high so I never got into it. However this presentation changed my thinking of a pricey activity to something that can be done in the library with a high replay value. It is possible to create your own breakout kit with materials from City Mill or Ben Franklin or purchase a kit from Breakoutedu. It was so cool to see so many themes and subjects that the Escape Rooms have, from Minecraft to history to library themes, it seems endless. There are plenty of libraries in Hawaii that have done Escape Rooms, it seems it is here to stay. Special thanks to Pearl City, Aina Haina, Kailua-Kona, and Aiea.

Next I stayed for a turbo toddler panel!

Toddler Time and Beyond: Creating Programs for Our Youngest Patrons (presented by Danielle T.)

Programs specifically designed for infants and toddlers based on the early literacy research of Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR2) are a growing trend in public libraries. Research shows that the five principles of ECRR2 (talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing) greatly increase children’s pre-reading and school readiness skills. With the library’s already hectic programming schedule, incorporating ECRR2 can seem like a daunting task. Between staffing shortages, limited budgets, and the intimidation factor of working with infants, where do you start?

This presentation will focus on the Waianae Public Library’s efforts to create sustainable, budget-friendly, long term early literacy programming that empowers caregivers to use ECRR2 at home.

Mind. Blown. Yep. I’m not a Children’s Librarian nor do I have a lot of experience in that field. Danielle went from showing numbers on toddlers and their developmental stages to transforming her Keiki area at the library. Utilizing guidelines from Ever Child Ready to Read and other sources, Danielle’s storytime skyrocketed. My list of resources will be updated as I lent my the list Danielle handed out to us to my coworker. Stay tuned for that.

Graphic Novels and You: Let’s Talk Story about GNs in your Library (presented by Hillary C. and Kelly C.*)

Graphic novels, comics, manga. Today, these are synonymous in popular culture and our library collections. Why do we keep these books in our libraries and why are they important? Nervous about understanding? Come talk story and hear me out! Graphic novels are not going to be disappearing from our libraries any time soon. A recommended booklist will be included in the presentation.

I really need to give credit to Hillary here, every time she surprises me. I brought the brochures but she brought snacks! With a packed room, some people standing, we went over the brochure with resources on where librarians can find reviews as well as understanding the suggested age range on graphic novels. Then we opened up for discussion. We had several excellent questions:

  • Are graphic novels part of the Accelerated Readers list? Librarians and educators can search “graphic novels” on arbookfinder to determine if the title has an AR record. Plenty of titles that have novel forms have been published as graphic novels and thus have been incorporated to AR. The thing is that due to certain schools having certain titles under the AR test, it is up to the student/librarian/educator to find which title has an AR test at their school. From personal experience, I would give a title to a student/parent and find out their school doesn’t have an AR test for it.
  • Should we separate graphic novels that have 13+, 16+ from each other or keep together? My suggestion to this question (it was specifically for 13+ and 16+) was to not separate by age due to how difficult it would be for patrons to find but for staff to shelve. It also shows there is a barrier preventing patrons from accessing graphic novels because it shows the library cares more about age restrictions than reading access.

Before we knew it, 50 minutes had passed and we had to end the session. In the meantime, we received our feedback where we got average to above average on the scale. If we do this again, we’ll be sure to have more than a Top Recommended list of titles but also have for Children and Adult. I still have my list of titles but need to polish it better. A new goal!

Battle of the Books: Partnering to Promote the Love of Reading (presented by Tamara K.)

Battle of the Books is a Kahuku Public and School Library-led, after school, extra-curricular program for North Shore elementary school children that makes reading social. Now in its third school year, hear how this sports-like reading event at school and district levels not only sustains but empowers Koʻolauloa area students to be successful 21st century citizens. The event is a child’s version of a quiz game show where teams of students compete for prizes to answer the most questions correctly about books from pre-selected reading lists. Additionally, details will be shared about its evolution to be more reflective of Hawaii’s keiki with its Pacific Islander book choices, its community impact as stakeholders work together to celebrate the love of literature, and the importance of working with many partners to make the long-term endeavor manageable for all.

Amazing. I had heard about the juggernaut known as “Battle of the Books” but had not seen in action. Tamara first showed us the demographic and schools in the Kahuku area. From there it was a matter of gaining community interest as well as backing from the principals of the schools. When it was time to come together… Well you’ll have to see for yourself because it was amazing what everyone had done.

Ko’olauloa Battle of the Books Regional Competition Ep. 1

Ko’olauloa Battle of the Books Regional Competition Ep. 2

More information at the Hawaii State Public Library System website.

Needless to say, this last day was filled with nerves but exhaustion in attending panels for a majority of the day as well as sitting for the final keynote speaker, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich of the Mid-Hudson Library System and of Sustainablelibraries.org!

*You’re still my fave Yamcha!

**Ayyy that’s me!