Thursday, May 18, 2006

Graphic Novels Made Easy

Our library service has been buying graphic novels seriously for about a year. But none of the library staff are familiar with graphic novels (not even the Youth Librarian - but she's set herself the task of getting to know them so that she can commune more effectively with our youth customers). Where to begin??? And how do you keep track of all those horrid series?
To the rescue, a very special library supplier that only deals in graphic novels. Apparently a couple of graphic novel nuts calling themselves Sealight Books (including a librarian) who decide to use their passion and set up a business where they can indulge their passion ad infinitum and probably make a living from home. Their site is a good source of graphic novel news and reviews, and they even have a blog.

How it works for us is: An initial order for a foundation collection. I just gave them a basic profile of our expected audience, any censorship provisions (I understand they themselves apply some self-censorship for really unsavoury items in terms of really gross violence or sex) which in our case are minimal, then a standing order to add new materials to our collection monthly, keeping track of where we are up to with all those pesky series. They may not give as big a discount as our regular suppliers, but as far as I'm concerned, that's far outweighed by the value they add through the service they offer. And they seem to know their stuff. In a review of articles in both the Britannica and Wikipedia under "Graphic Novel", (an interesting exercise in itself) , even I , a complete graphic novel neophyte, recognize the names and covers of many of the classic titles (eg by Neil Gaiman for instance) which have been supplied by Sealight. So our collection has creds with any self-respecting graphic novel buff, and we're exposing new readers to the "classics" of the genre, and also leaving it to the Sealight people's excellent judgement to discover what's hot and supply new stuff. And of course now we have our customers making recommendations too which we pass onto Sealight as specific orders.

I'll leave it to another post to analyse the borrowing/reading trends of our graphic novels...


  • "Graphic Novel Nuts" sounds like a great name for a Graphic Novel Discussion Club!

    By Blogger Ivan Chew, at 4:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home