In the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I'd like to suggest a few immersion adjectives: soaked, poached, saturated, brined, pickled, marinated, stuffed - any one of them will do. Or, maybe some super-hero vocabulary like Yowzah!, Bam! Kapow! would be more appropriate. This one day class on graphic novels and comics was really intense, and really fun. The presenters were passionate, knowledgeable, and skilled at sharing their expertise.
The use of graphic novels, manga, and comics is compelling. Building visual skills into reading and writing instruction is a powerful way to engage those students who do best with a more hands-on or visual learning style. There is no doubt that they love the stuff.
True story. Last summer we invested in a large starter collection of manga and graphic novels. The books flew off the shelves. We had waiting lists and were ordering additional requests through inter-library loan. When we reviewed our circulation statistics for the month of September 08 and compared them to September 07, the results were astounding. Stats indicated that students were checking out the new books at an astronomical rate, but our fiction circulation was also up 75%! Overall circulation was up 94%! The data clearly shows they came and checked out graphic materials, but we had clear evidence that they were suddenly migrating to other material, and were checking out fiction for pleasure reading in startling numbers. Do graphic novels contribute to learning? Should they be part of every library collection? Do they build reading and comprehension skills? Yes.
This post has links to other blogs and resources. It is going to take me awhile to process this new information. Grant funding for an expanded graphic novel collection is definitely on the horizon, and there are certainly more than enough suggested titles!
Robin Brenner, Brookline Public Library
Notes from MSLA Conference, Oct. 2008
Getting Graphic in School: Graphic Novels, comics, and manga in education
Metrowest Regional Library System - Resources - very good!
Material from multiple presentations
Introduction to Manga, Anime, and Graphic Novels
Japanese Manga for Libraries
Excellent Listserve - good for info,questions, and welcoming to newcomersGraphic Novels in Libraries Listserv
Comics are great for the struggling reader. Light reading leads to heavier reading. Comics are a conduit to other forms of reading.
Research and Literacy organization - scholarly approach to graphic format material
Comic Book Resources - a lot of fluff, but also good content columns, super-hero central!
Matt Madden, 99 Ways to Tell a Story