Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Collections: Graphic novels

Today's collection question? What good graphic novels have I read lately that would be appropriate for grades 7 - 9, have both a compelling storyline and great graphical elements, and are readable? I must admit both embracing and dreading questions of this nature from faculty members. It is wonderful to be able to recommend great new books for classroom use, especially ones that will fulfill the curriculum needs. However, it is inherently stressful as I am apt to ponder -- what if a book I like and recommend is a dud for them? I have learned to utilize the never-fail reference interview option via phone and find out their concept of "great new book" and proceed.

The resource center collection development blog served it's purpose during the conversation; I was able to direct the faculty member to the blog, point out the graphic novel labels (it has 48 posts), and mention each post linked directly to the catalog. Finding one book he liked would lead to others as the cataloger created a "graphic novel" subject heading when I first began with this collection. Since then, a genre category of graphic novels has been officially established, but knowing it was possible to locate all the graphic novel (91) entries is useful to all concerned.

And, because when you give me an opening of this nature I tend to run with it, I also found issues of School Library Journal where graphic novels are reviewed (by grade level!) and a Booklist issue featuring graphic novels, and made copies to give to this faculty member. I am hoping to get his input on purchasing additional items and subtly remind him to come to me with book suggestions.

Unfortunately, Booklist does not have a great deal of free information on their website, but the March 15th issue, volume 103 number 14, highlights graphic novels.

A secondary inquiry during this conversation, more important from a resource center and/or library as a place standpoint, was a request to use resource center for class time. A definite - yes - to that question. I do not have a classroom space for faculty to use when they want to do instruction here, but there are groupings of tables I am able to reserve (lovely tent signs, laminated and ready to go) the area for use. This is a great opportunity to get the students IN THE LIBRARY. Two sessions are planned for tomorrow, I am looking forward to discussing the books with this professor.

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