Comic Book Collections for Libraries

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ABC-CLIO, 2011 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 162 pages
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Do comic books belong in libraries? Absolutely--as Comic Book Collections for Libraries makes very clear. This illustrated guide defines the role of comic books in the modern library, provides a thorough grounding in the subject for beginners, and suggests new ideas for those already familiar with these perennial reader favorites.

The book begins by introducing the structure of the comic book, industry players, and genres. The bulk of the guide, however, is comprised of actionable advice on such things as creating and maintaining the collection, cataloging for effective access, and promoting the collection, including how to feature comics with other library materials, such as movies and games. Drawing on the authors' experience, the volume answers numerous other questions as well. How can you tell which titles are age-appropriate for your library? Which titles are popular? How do you include characters that will appeal to diverse reader groups? Complete with checklists and a rich array of examples, this easy-to-use work can make every librarian a superhero.


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Disclaimer: I am one of the book's authors, and am hoping to merely correct inaccuracies in Richard from GoodReads' review.
The book's purpose is to help inform libraries about mainstream comic
books and how to integrate them into a library's collection. Because the book focuses on popular comic books, it does contain significant information about DC and Marvel offerings, as well as popular manga titles. There was no shortage of similar works for libraries related to literary graphic novels such as Art Spiegelman's excellent Maus, which is why such works do get shorter shrift in our book. This is explained in the introduction.
We made specific efforts to escape the DC/Marvel monopoly while staying in our scope:
The book's section on publishers contains information on eight publishers in addition to DC and Marvel.
The book's chapter on genres features an examination of thirteen genres, only one of which is the superhero genre.
While it is true most "players" in the mainstream comic book market have had some dealings with DC and Marvel, thirteen of the entries in the 34-entry section on "players" deal with people whose primary work was done elsewhere, such as Dave Sim, Carl Barks, Mike Mignola, and Stan Sakai (who was kind enough to write the introduction).
Finally, six of the book's chapters concern topics not directly related to publisher or genre, such as buying, cataloging, and promotion of comic books.
And yes, of course I gave it 5 stars - with at least as critical an eye as Richard from GoodReads!


1 Comic Books Graphic Novels and Popular Culture
2 The Structure of the Comic Book
3 The Players
4 Genres
5 Creating and Maintaining a Core Comic Book Collection
6 Cataloging
Guidelines for Promotion
8 Comics in Other Parts of the Library
9 Web Resources
Initial Graphic Title List and Inclusion Criteria
Comic Book Characters and Their Titles
Further Readings on Comics Graphic Novels Manga and Anime

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About the author (2011)

Bryan D. Fagan is a freelance writer. He has an MLS degree from the University of Maryland.

Jody Condit Fagan is associate professor and content interfaces coordinator at James Madison University Libraries and Educational Technologies, Harrisonburg, VA.