Librarians Library: Comic Book Confidential

By Quinn, Mary Ellen | American Libraries, June-July 2008 | Go to article overview

Librarians Library: Comic Book Confidential


Quinn, Mary Ellen, American Libraries


In 1954, Congressional hearings on juvenile delinquency devoted two days to discussing comic books and the threat they posed to decency and order. In the wake of the hearings more than half of the comic books on newsstands disappeared. "The panic over comic books, falls somewhere between the Red Scare and the frenzy over UFO sightings among the pathologies of postwar America," asserts David Hajdu in The Ten-Cent Plague: The CreatGreat Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America.

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Today, graphic literature contin-ues to surge in popularity and even prestige. But is it because comic books still retain a whiff of disreputableness that we use the loftier term "graphic novels" instead? INDEXED, 434 P., $26 FROM FSG (978-0-374-18767-5).

Meet the Millennials

How are library users changing and how can libraries meet their needs? Editors James R. Kennedy, Lisa Vardaman, and Gerard B. McCabe address these questions in Our New Public, A Changing Clientele: Bewildering Issues or New Challenges for Managing Libraries?

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A host of experts reflect on Gen Y-- a.k.a. millennials, echo boomers, the Net generation--those vounsr people who are, as one contributor describes them, "technology-obsessed, social and connected, traditional, achievement-oriented, and attention-challenged." Apart from the sheer size of Gen Y, they will all be voting adults in a few years, making it even more important for us to reinvent ourselves in their image.

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INDEXED, 305 P, $45 FROM LIBRARIES UNLIMITED (97B-1-59153-407-0).

Virtual Reality

Virtual reference has evolved from an experiment to a staple of library service, and these two books provide a snap-shot of its implementation at different levels.

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Virtual Reference on a Budget: Case Studies, edited by Teresa Dalston and Michael Pullin, examines ways to create virtual reference in a school or public library using low-cost or free software. The book grew out of a doctoral project at the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences and is therefore more academic than a "how we did it at my library" type of guide. …

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