An ongoing conversation about the changing landscape of public libraries.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Manga Mania!

The good news is that teens and preteens are reading. The trick is figuring out what they're reading.

One thing they're reading is a genre of graphic novels called manga. People have been aware of this for a while, so this is not really breaking news. But I would like to offer encouragement to libraries who have been reluctant to develop a strong manga or graphic novel collection.

There are a lot of manga series (like Naruto on the left) that offer the type of ninja-oriented, action-filled plots that many adolescent boys and girls are looking for. But you can also find series like Boys Over Flowers for your teen patrons that are more lover than fighter. The most important thing is to not stereotype your readers; just put the books out there and see what circulates.

And remember: you don't have to read these to recommend them! Just know the titles and an idea of the plot. Is it action or teen romance?

If you are still reluctant to try some of these books, just take a walk through the graphic novel section at your local bookstore (especially Barnes and Nobles or Borders). This place is mobbed with kids lounging around quietly reading their favorite manga or comic book series. Wouldn't you love to have these kids at your library?

And it gets better, because these books are not limited to teenagers - other age groups love them too! Children want to see what the older kids are reading, and adults will pick them up too, as long as you don't give them the teen label.

Don't label it young adult, just call it the graphic novel section and you will not be able to keep these on the shelf.

Here are a few manga series that have circulated extremely well at my library:
These titles are all products of Viz Media, but there are a lot of other great manga publishers out there. Just browse for yourself the next time you're at the bookstore!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A greener library is a gooder library

Going Green is a great source of information for people interested in sustainable living practices for businesses and organizations. Essentially it's just a compilation of other web resources about greenifying. But it's nice to have it all in once place.