DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Nov 26 2007

Graphic Novels: At a Library Near You!

by Nolan R

Bone_cover While I vaguely remember reading some Archie comics as a child, it wasn’t until the late eighties that I really started reading comics.  Not being a huge fan of the superheroes, I began reading comics after discovering titles like Sandman, Bone, Maus, and Swamp ThingAt the time, comics were still pretty much thought of as “just for kids,” but in 1993, DC Comics launched their Vertigo imprint, described as a more mature line of “serious, innovative fiction told in compelling visuals.” Moving away from mainstream family-friendly fare, these titles became a cult success and began to attract a whole new audience to comics, including women and those who had never really read comics before–readers just like myself.

As that generation of readers has grown older (and perhaps moved into jobs in the entertainment and comics industries), comics in general have become more mainstream.  Movies based on comics have become more numerous in recent years, and comics are now widely available in many bookstores and even–you guessed it–libraries. 

Libraries have slowly but surely started to collect comics and graphic novels.  DeKalb County Public Library began adding titles to the collection a few years ago, originally in the Young Adult collection. More recently, titles have been added to the children’s and adult collections.  In DCPL’s catalog, you will find various types of books (including graphic novels, manga, and comic trade paperbacks) listed under the subject heading of “graphic novels.”  To make it easier to find them in the catalog and on the shelf, many of these titles are now labeled “GN” for graphic novel.  GN titles include fiction, non-fiction, and biography, and are available for a wide range of reading levels for children, teens, and adults.  Graphic novels are also labeled according to their collection: J (juvenile), Y (young Adult), or B (biography).  Each library may shelve these books differently, so ask at your local branch for where the graphic novel collection is located.  Remember that these items are designated as  J, Y, or adult to reflect age-appropriateness, so use these guidelines and your own judgement when selecting titles for children!

To find graphic novel titles in the DCPL catalog for teens and adults, click HERE.

For more information on comics and graphic novels, check out these links:

ALA Resources for Comics and Graphic Novels

Recommended Graphic Novels for Public Libraries

Great Graphic Novels for Teens from the American Library Association

Comic Books for Young Adults

Kid-safe Graphic Novels from Brodart

TIME Top Ten Graphic Novels

Jesse November 26, 2007 at 4:51 PM

GREAT post! Thanks for all the information!

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