O'English, Lorena, et.al. "Graphic Novels in Academic Libraries: From Maus to Manga and Beyond." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 32.2 (March 2006): 173-182.
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This article provides an overview of the graphic novels genre, and it provides advice on collecting these materials in academic libraries. Significantly, it promotes graphic novels in academic libraries for recreational reading. This is significant because usually it is suggested that these materials be collected, if at all, for academic interest, say popular culture studies. While the academic angle is good, I also think recreation is important. This article helps to validate that idea.
The article opens with a brief introduction to the genre, mostly for those not too familiar with graphic novels. The article then looks at the genre in terms of literature and scholarly study, whether in classes or in journals. The article then moves to a discussion of the graphic novel's place in an academic library, provides advice on cataloging them, and suggests ways to promote them in academia. Overall, this is a very practical article. There may be some ideas here to consider in my setting, where I think we could certainly increase our holdings in that area. Some notes then from the article:
- "Beyond the value of graphic novels as scholarly and cultural resources, an academic library that collects graphic novels is also continuing in a tradition of providing resources for students and others in the academic community who are looking for reading material not only to enhance their scholarship or teaching, but also to enjoy for personal pleasure and recreation" (175).
- "Graphic novels have a place in academic library collections, but a library intending to start such a collection would do well to consider how to promote their use and availability, both within and outside the library" (178).
- "Librarians may want to consider an educational campaign to increase faculty awareness of graphic novels as literary, artistic, and discipline-based resources for scholarship and teaching" (178).
- "Graphic novels can support the literature curriculum and will certainly support the mission of the academic library to provide recreational reading. Myriad opportunities for promotion and marketing exist. Graphic novels can perhaps be a mechanism for the return to the humanistic ideal that reading should both educate and delight" (180).