Manga in Libraries

Mugiwara Luffy 03-15-2005 09:09 PM
I think its a good idea to have manga in libraries just because it's expensive to keep buying new volumes to keep up with a manga. I mean, usually you only read em once anyway and then throw it on the shelf.

I know that's not the real issue here but I think it's a valid reason.
pen1300 03-15-2005 10:40 PM
Ok, I don't call myself "Librarian of the Nightengale" because I'm a book nerd. I also didn't ask for the book forum and call it a library for nothing. I am a librarian. (If it wasn't obvious...ok). I'm seriously a librarian (for a public library) and I am indeed going to school for it. None the less, most of my librarian major friends enjoy manga and anime and find NO problems putting it into their libraies when they have their own one day.

None the less, about two years ago I researched this topic because I was interested in pointing out how Graphic Novels SHOULD be in the library. I wanted to build a cool, updated site. I also was the one who researched which titles to buy that I thought would seem the most appropriate for my area. Most I had read, some I figured would be fine, but I'd read them to see where to put them. Most of the comic books that have entered the library I'm at, I've read. (Save those blasted peanuts and the only Pokemon comic book we have, poor thing is beat up like heck...).

It is unfortunate some directors/people who buy books don't take the time to research/ look at what they pick up. My boss is guilty of this and I've told someone this multiple times. "If the kid picks it up, do NOT blame this on me. She bought them without asking me and I could have TOLD you what they were about." My boss picked up GTO and Cowboy BeBop.

Imagine my suprise as I read GTO and came across all that sexual stuff. I know that for my area, if they ever circulate, they will piss off someone's parents and we'll have to decide what to do with them. Originally, they were filed as YA. They have since moved to Adult and in the two years we've had them, I think they've circulated once. (After she bought vol. 3, she bought the first two.) With GTO, I find that there is a small message being sent, unfortunately, the sexual inuendos and stuff overshadow that. I also know for a fact that the patrons would not see past that part. Cowboy BeBop is shelved in YA and I think it's in the proper place. Simpsons are there too, and that's perfectly fine (but this is a manga discussion). She had bought them because the major book company had "suggested them."

We have not bought any since at my library (due to budget constraints I like to believe), on the other hand, the system has about 500 graphic novels by now. I had a list printed off once for me (when there were way less than that) so I could compare what was there so that I could suggest ones that others did not have. I compared this to what I had read, borrowed, and thought looked interesting. Sadly, that lovely list was never used.

I know in another library in the system, they used the local comic shop I go to as a resource to talk to. I don't know what the hub does (and that slightly worries me...), but every library has a different way of choosing Graphic Novels for their library. Some use local comic shops, as HIGHLY suggested. Othersl, don't even look. A library comic has a comic guru as their main character and it's funny to see him mention "such and such" series (Look at Dewey). Right now he's not talking about it, but I've seen it a few times.

None the less, libraries are hurting to keep people walking in their doors. I might be lying about my personal library but I know in other parts of the country they are going "out of business" and are being absorbed by the larger libraries. It's becoming a lot more business oriented. We were told in a workshop "on merchandising" that we should not call the people who walk in patrons, we should call them customers.

Libraries know they cannot keep the YA population walking in the door. You should see what has been done to promote bringing them in. Some libraries have YA rooms, coffee bars, and, of course, the graphic novel. This is to keep them walking in so that we don't loose them as they get older. It's all about keeping the patrons and also keeping up interest in reading.

This is excellent topic and I can post some librarian oriented links if you guys are curious what is being recommended. I need to go get some sleep for classes tomorrow. Expect more later.


PS: Maybe the subject should be changed to "Manga in Libraries"? That will include both public and school libraries. This has also gotten into public libraries.

[Edit: Good idea, I changed it. --Krang]