Graphic Novels in Libraries Supporting Teacher Education and Librarianship Programs

By Williams, Virginia Kay; Peterson, Damen V. | Library Resources & Technical Services, July 2009 | Go to article overview

Graphic Novels in Libraries Supporting Teacher Education and Librarianship Programs


Williams, Virginia Kay, Peterson, Damen V., Library Resources & Technical Services


Academic libraries supporting education and library science programs collect juvenile literature to support courses that teach students to evaluate and use books with children and teenagers. Graphic novels have not only become popular with teens but also are being frequently discussed in both the education and library literature. This paper discusses the literature on graphic novels for teens, explores the extent to which academic libraries supporting education and library science programs collect graphic novels for teens, and concludes that academic librarians responsible for juvenile collections should evaluate their graphic novel holdings and begin actively collecting graphic novels for teens.

**********

Two decades ago, graphic novels were virtually unknown to librarians and educators, but during the last decade graphic novels exploded in popularity and began to appear regularly on recommended book lists. By 1994, the Library of Congress Authority File included graphic novels as an authorized subject heading. (1) As librarians noticed that teenagers, traditionally a hard audience to reach, read graphic novels, the library literature began to feature lists of good graphic novels, tips on developing graphic novel collections, and anecdotes about teenagers' insatiable demand for graphic novels. By 2005, several library journals had regular columns on graphic novels for young adult collections, and articles on using graphic novels in the classroom were appearing in education journals.

The current study began when one of the authors, a former high school librarian, noticed the excitement about graphic novels and reluctantly decided to read a few highly recommended tides to update her knowledge of young adult literature. None of the titles she wished to read were available in the university library's juvenile collection even though the university library supported a large teacher education program with courses in both children's and young adult literature. Juvenile literature courses are a staple of teacher education because future teachers must learn to select and use books with the students they will be teaching just as future librarians learn about selecting and marketing books to library users. The former high school librarian mentioned her inability to find the desired titles to a colleague who read graphic novels for pleasure; he was unsurprised because his personal experience was that graphic novels were more often found in stores than libraries.

If both the education and library literature discuss graphic novels for teens, academic libraries supporting education and library science programs should provide graphic novels for students in those programs to examine and evaluate. The authors decided to investigate whether academic libraries that support teacher education and library science programs have been collecting graphic novels for teens.

Literature Review

According to Rothschild, Will Eisner coined the term graphic novel in 1978 as a description of his book Contract with God, but people still disagree about just what a graphic novel is. (2) Eisner, who had worked with comics for more than forty years, used graphic novel as a marketing term; he later explained that he wanted to distinguish his series of illustrated stories about a Jewish family in the Great Depression from comic books to improve his chances of finding a publisher. (3) Eisner referred to graphic novels as "sequential art," but Weiner called them "book-length comic books that are meant to be read as one story." (4) Goldsmith, who defines graphic novels as "storytelling through ... sequential art," distinguishes them from comic books by saying that graphic novels present a story with a distinct beginning and end, even when that story is told in multiple volumes, while comic books are serials with a limitless number of episodes. (5) People sometimes confuse manga with graphic novels. The term manga refers to Japanese comic books, which may be fiction or nonfiction; translated manga and graphic novels are often displayed together in stores and libraries.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Graphic Novels in Libraries Supporting Teacher Education and Librarianship Programs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.