Libraries began purchasing graphic novels in the 1980s initially as a way to get young people to read. This hope, that the popularity of comics and graphic novels might lure kids to the library and induce them to read, was the fundamental reason for librarians first interest. Other reasons that have stood the test of time include:
Comics have a proven capacity to increase visual literacy; an essential skill in the digital age.
Their high visual content recommends their use with reluctant readers and English language-learners.
Their established visibility verifies that they are a new and constantly evolving art form.
Their demonstrated capacity for increasing circulation and enhanced use of other library collections.
Their indispensable place in popular culture.
Suggestions for managing the graphic novels collection in the Northfield Library are that this collection be given the designation: “GN for Graphic Novel” coupled with the existing cataloging guidelines used for works of fiction and non-fiction in the library.
The following criteria established by the Young Adult Library Services Association (3) will be used to evaluate works for inclusion in the Northfield Public Library Graphic Novel collection. Evaluation criteria will be used to review works for purchase consideration as well as books currently located in the young adult and adult fiction and nonfiction collections that will be re-cataloged and integrated in the Graphic Novel collection. The Graphic Novel collection will therefore include subject material appropriate for adult and young adult audiences. Evaluation criteria will include works that:
Reflect an integration of images and words.
Exhibit a clarity of visual flow on the page.
[Demonstrate an] ability of images to convey necessary meaning.
[Provide] outstanding quality of artworks’ reproduction.
[Provide] a narrative enhanced by the artwork.
[Provide] a narrative dominated by sequential art component.
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