Graphic Novels Now: Building, Managing, and Marketing a Dynamic Collection

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Author

In 1992, Maus, a graphic novel by Art Spiegelman, won the Pulitzer Prize. The genre has been growing ever since, appealing to the visual-oriented Gen-X and Gen-Y, as well as to reluctant readers, those of all ages seeking alternative viewpoints, and anyone willing to take both image and word into consideration.

Graphic Novels Now helps librarians new to the genre with all the key issues related to these unique books. Expert author Francisca Goldsmith shares smart advice, from how to develop a well-rounded collection by finding reviews and reliable publishers and distributors to shelving, cataloging, and preserving these unique books. This guide also features tips on marketing and promoting the graphic novel collection, as well as how to create dynamic programs such as artist visits and how-to cartooning workshops.

Going beyond the comic book, author and YA specialist Goldsmith answers her colleagues' many questions that arise in dealing with one of her favorite kinds of literature:

  • What are graphic novels?
  • How do I create a graphic novel collection development policy?
  • What processing challenges will I face, and how do I address problems?
  • Who are my customers for graphic novels and how do I attract them?
  • Are these titles going to be challenged by my colleagues and the community? How do I cope?
  • Where can I find resources?

With passionate advocacy, Goldsmith identifies best practices to incorporate graphic novels into library collections from start to finish. By focusing on monographic works in a practical, in-depth professional discussion, this guide helps librarians grapple with the details of a growing genre and customer base that rarely fits into an easy model. Librarians in public and school libraries, as well as special libraries, will find this book an invaluable resource in maximizing these collections.


Chapter 1. Why Graphic Novels Now? Modern Readers, Modern Libraries

Chapter 2. What's the Right Word for a Book That Looks Like This?: Definitions

Chapter 3. What's Good? Finding Reviews and Developing Collections

Chapter 4. How Can I Deal with Pigeons from Hell? Maintaining Graphic Novel Collections

Chapter 5. Can Readers Find Your Library's Graphic Novels? Classification and Descriptive Cataloging

Chapter 6. How Does the Collection Find New Readers? Marketing and Promotion

Chapter 7. How Can You Put Legs on Your Graphic Novels? Creating Programs to Get the Collection Up and Walking

Chapter 8. The Politics of Graphic Novels


A. Resources

B. Selected Graphic Novels By Category

C. Collection Development Policies

Francisca Goldsmith

Francisca Goldsmith has worked in public and academic libraries across North America for more than 25 years before becoming a full-time library staff development consultant and instructor. Recently, her focus has been on supporting public library staff and administrators in responding to community needs for access to healthcare information and expanding librarian and educator awareness of multi-modal literacy needs in both youth and adult communities. Her library experience and consulting includes frontline reference work, collection management, branch services management, and teen services development and advocacy. She is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels, Second Edition (ALA Editions, 2017).