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Drawing Comics into Canadian public libraries PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Drawing Comics into Canadian public libraries. The Many Forms of Comics. Comic Book. Graphic Novel. Trade. Popularity of the Medium with the Public. Revenues for graphic novel sales have more than quadrupled from 2001 to 2006 ( Publisher’s Weekly 2007, 9 )

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Drawing Comics into Canadian public libraries

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Drawing Comics into Canadian public libraries

The Many Forms of Comics

Comic Book

Graphic Novel


Popularity of the Medium with the Public

Revenues for graphic novel sales have more than quadrupled from 2001 to 2006 (Publisher’s Weekly 2007, 9)

Many publishers are beginning to publish new lines of graphic novels.



-Random House




-Gareth Stevens

-School Speciality


Methods: Power Tests of Collection Strength

1)Perform a search using the terms that best define your body of literature

2) Perform the same search but limit the retrieval of records to a particular library using its OCLC code

Method: Brief Tests and Power Tests of Collection Strength by Howard White

  • White explain that “titles held by more than 750 libraries are items of the sort that a library would buy if it collects anything at all in a given subject”. They are, popular, standard, indispensable, classic.

  • “at the other extreme, titles held by fewer than 150 libraries have only small, specialized readerships because they may be advanced, localized, foreign, academic, obscure, old.”

  • (White 2008, 159).

Data Set: Major Public Libraries and Key Word Search


Power Tests of Collection Strength

  • Example of Comic Titles From 1999 and Earlier

  • Maus by Art Spiegelman

  • The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot

  • Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

  • Bone by Jeff Smith

  • Understanding Comics by Scott McLeod

  • Kingdom Come by Mark Waid

  • Watchmen by Alan Moore

Comparison of selection tools

Public Library

  • Library Thing

  • Booklist

  • VOYA

  • School Library Journal

Comic Stores

  • Comics Journal

  • Wizards Magazine

  • Previews Magazine

  • Comics Buyer Guide

Book Publishers versus Comic Publishers




Methods: Brief Tests of Collection Stength

Exerpt from a Brief Test for Level 1 of the Children’s Collection


Brief Tests of Collection Strength at EPL

Growth of EPL’s Comic Collection over Time

Comics in Library Literature


  • Crawford, Philip Charles. Graphic Novels 101: Selecting and Using Graphic Novels to Promote Literacy for Children and Young Adults:. Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research & Publishing, 2003.

  • Gorman, Michele. Getting Graphic!: Comics for Kids. Columbus, OH: Linworth Books, 2008.

  • Jones, Patrick, Michele Gorman and Tricia Suellentrop. Connecting Young Adults and Libraries.3rd ed. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2004.

  • Serchay, David S. Graphic Novels for Children and Tweens. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2008.


  • Reinforcement of negative stereotypes

    • Underdeveloped adult section reinforces idea that comics are for children and teens

  • Alienation of potential user groups

    • Adults

    • Patrons interested non-standard titles

Future Areas of Study

  • Exploration of Selection Criteria through interviews with Comic vendors and Collection Development Librarians

  • Patron Surveys to better understand potential and current users

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