“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!

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

(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!”

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!



Conference Time! – Day 1

This past weekend was a blast! I think I worried too much but otherwise it was an awesome library conference and I’m glad I went.




More or less that was how I felt both days. What a whirlwind! Thanks to everyone at the Hawaii Library Association for a wonderful joint conference with the Hawaii Association of School Librarians. A listing of the schedule found here!

Day 1 had interesting panels, two of which sparked interest and an ongoing situation in public libraries here.

Sustainability of Public Libraries in this Digital Climate: Transforming Communities Through Digital and Information Literacy (presented by Sharrese C. and Kelsey D.)

“Welcome to the Public Library. May I help you find a good website?” More and more public libraries are shifting their focus from helping patrons find book resources to digital resources. And with that push, patrons visit the library needing help with online job applications, using smart devices like smart phones and tablets, or accessing the library’s digital resources. Digital and information literacy instruction in libraries addresses this issue while promoting the Public Library’s basic tenet of lifelong learning. In this presentation, we will look at how public libraries can sustain and empower our diverse communities through digital and information instruction and engage with patrons on the importance of digital and information literacy. We will also discuss some examples of what some public libraries are doing to promote digital and information literacy and provide tips and tools for implementing digital and information literacy instruction in your library.

Digital Climate

Indeed we need to provide the best service we can in an age where technology is becoming the norm and the public is attempting to keep up. However how much is too much help? Do we go by a case by case basis determining if a patron needs help setting up an email account or if they want you to write their personal letters? This presentation helped put into perspective how public libraries are helping their patrons out using technology. I reflected on this, yes we should provide the best service we can offer but we also cannot be there at every little thing but how can we get this started? Sharrese and Kelsey, managers in the public library system, bring up good points and here I also reflect upon what librarians can do.

  1. Ensure the library staff knows about technology or common questions patrons might have regarding technology. Many libraries might have a staff of three versus a staff of fifteen so it is always helpful when library staff–not just the librarians–have knowledge of technology and customer service.
  2. Know your limits. Helping someone print their resume is one thing but being asked to type the resume out to the letter can be going too far. Assess the situation and guide the patron so they see what you’re doing and can emulate the procedure.
  3. Build repertoire with the patron and ease them into technology situations they may normally push away.
  4. Customer service. Assisting patrons is what we do as library staff but understandably we all do not have teaching degrees nor have formal experience as teachers. Here is our time to shine showing empathy with patrons while guiding them to use a computer or understand technology in a positive way.
Boom, there it is. via Everylibrary

Next we had a cool presentation about professional development via social media.

Unbusying the Busy: Public Librarians Employing Social Media for Professional Development (presented by Dr. Irvin, Michelle M. and Michelle Y.)

The Librarians’ Inquiry Forum (LINQ) is a professional development model that uses social media as a means to create sustainable librarian communities of practice for the purpose of professional development. Librarians working with the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System gathered across the islands, online, via the social media platform, Slack, to enact ongoing, real-time professional networking and learning in inquiry-based discussions to learn the intersections between one another’s practices, questions, and concerns about public librarianship. The goal of LINQ was to have front-line “busy” librarians learn how a social media-based community of practice can be employed to “unbusy their busy” via collaborative inquiry, reflection, and learning for the purpose of ongoing professional development. This session will present data from the LINQ project that conveys ways in which front-line librarians learned how collaborative inquiry transformed their “busy-ness” to enhanced, more effective professional practice and identity.


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We are busy. At times we can get overwhelmed. We definitely love what we do but there are times when there is a feeling of there is so much to do! Never a dull moment is what I say. Two points stood out in this presentation and I thank the presenters, Dr. Irvin from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and two managers from the public library system, Michelle Y. and Michelle M.

  1. The definition of “busy”. Are we busy because without being busy, we are no one? Are we busy because being busy is our identity tied to our job? Are we busy because we resist (change/work/specific duties)?
  2. Slack as a social media platform for building ideas and communication between librarians! Similar to the platform I use for video games (Discord), it really is something to consider. The pros of Slack being that we can communicate instantly versus creating a long email while sharing documents and pictures. The downside being that unless there was a something similar to a storage locker that has all the documents shared and properly labeled so it can be easily accessible, it is limited. The other thing being that not every librarian has their own staff computer so there is the risk of being met with a block of text when checking back on Slack.

I’ve been looking to plan a website for librarians in our system to communicate and share ideas. Thankfully going to this panel and hearing how Slack can be used as a professional development tool as well as a communication tool brings hope that we may be able to implement this into our work lives.

*Apologies for the quality of pictures.