I only recently got into the activity of listening to podcasts on my daily commute to and from work. It is definitely different from reading a book or watching television so it took quite a while for me to adjust to. I know I need to get into audiobooks sooner than later when it comes to reading my book backlog however I feel positive and accomplished I got out of my shell to listen to podcasts. I’m all about visuals!
Speaking of podcasts, I’m excited to say I was invited and recorded an episode of Read ‘Em & Weep, talking about one of my favorite literature topics ever: Graphic Novels. It was a very invigorating experience to speak clearly with a consistent speed without going off the rails within a time limit. It was tough to talk about graphic novels without graphics because, that’s one of the best visually appealing characteristics about graphic novels! A challenge? Yes! Was it fun? YES! Read ‘Em & Weep host Kimberly has done it again! For information, look under “Ep 3 – Illustrated History”.
Recommended podcast list:
Stuff You Missed in History Class. Holly and Tracy are excellent researchers, hosting an engaging podcast that feels as if you’re sitting at the table with them. History has never sounded so awesome!
Binge Mode. I love listening to hosts Mallory and Jason talk shop on pop culture topics such as “Harry Potter” or “Game of Thrones”. They take information from both media and books so be wary of spoilers. (Warning: Features adult content)
Welcome to Night Vale. A story of magical realism and paranormal horror, enjoy the soothing voice of Cecil Baldwin as you attempt to determine what is real and what is imaginary.
I was enraptured and impressed by our presenter. Her love of Cosplay grew from her hobby of sewing! Our library is very grateful for having a Cosplay program possible this summer and based on the positive feedback received, I would definitely be open to hosting the program again. I highly recommend having Jen present on Cosplay. She reads the crowd easily, goes into detail, answers questions, and is knowledgeable in many aspects of this niche art.
I feel our patrons were able to be exposed to a different pop culture niche. Cosplay has been increasingly popular in the U.S. to the point of people becoming professional Cosplayers, creating and modeling their own creations for conventions and publishers. At several conventions I’ve attended, there are panels on Cosplay that normally you can only enter with a paid ticket however our library was able to offer this informative panel for free. Attendees learned feasible ways of planning their Cosplay with the understanding that anyone can dress up! From accurate-on-the-spot renditions to crossplay to genderbending cosplay, there’s something for everyone.
I’m itching to cosplay again. *Looks at cosplay-less closet* In due time, in due time. Following Jen’s tip, gotta plan it first!
I had recently created a small section of Biographical Graphic Novels and Non-Fiction Graphic Novels at the library I work at. It’s a little section but I’m proud of creating a visible assertion that graphic novels aren’t 100% superheroes. That non-fiction and memoirs have been in the graphic medium and will continue to grow.
So imagine my confusion receiving Soviet Daughter : A Graphic Revolution by Julia Alekseyeva to have processed. I figured it was a memoir and would be placed under our Biographical Graphic Novels because Julia uses information provided by her great-grandmother, Lola from her days growing up in the USSR to witnessing the Fall of the Soviet Union and moving to the United States. At the same time, moments of Julia’s story is interwoven, reminiscently reminding me of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, where she revisits her relationship with her father prior to his death. However the library system placed it as a Fiction.
So I dug deeper and ran across more confusion. Amazon lists Soviet Daughter under Amazon Best Seller Ranks as “Educational and Non-Fiction” (#164) but “Historical and Biographical Fiction” (#96). The publisher, Microcosm Publishing, markets it as a “graphic novel memoir unites two generations of strong, independent women against a sweeping backdrop of the history of the USSR.” A memoir is a biography, written from personal sources. If this was fiction, the marketing would say so since it would put the book in a tricky situation. WorldCat lists it as “Biography, Fiction” with Similar Items listing subjects including “Nonfiction/Biography/Memoir”.
Food for thought when looking at books in the library. The collection says a lot if books are placed in Fiction or Non-Fiction. For now, Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution will be under Fiction. If there are any changes, we’ll see!
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!
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!
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.)
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!)
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.
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. 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.)