Hello internet friends that I don’t talk to on a regular basis!
After a long hiatus, a 3rd winter, a 39,000 word thesis, and a few months of work, it’s finally Spring and I am (officially) a real librarian. And it is awesome. I am kicking my butt into gear and getting back in the posting mindset. Look out, internet, here I come!
I figured it would be an awesome to share what I’m doing, thinking, and working on in the Children’s Department. I love my job and the people I work with, and we do some amazing things. Now that Summer Reading is starting up, it’s an even more exciting time. Long hours, intense activities, and tons of fun!
What am I working on, you ask? Well, my next program is Free Comic Book Day! Seriously, this is amazing and a cause very close to my heart. In case you don’t know what I did my thesis on: I looked at how Graphic Novels can be used in conjunction with the Common Core standards at the High School level for reading classic texts. I adapted the Common Core standards for reading literature into standards for reading images. Images are complex and extremely interesting beasts. The way characters are placed in a scene, their facial expressions, the colors used…everything has a meaning that adds to the story! Looking at how the artist’s nuances are used to create the classic story, convey the traditional themes and messages while also bringing something new to the text was fascinating. Having my background in English literature, I know how words, phrases, and even spaces have meaning. Looking at the story from the “graphic” angle brings an even deeper meaning to the texts I loved in high school.
It was awesome. I loved working on it…well, I got tired of it, but I now love it again. However, despite all the awesome work which shows the benefit that graphic novels provide, not only for reluctant and struggling readers, ESL students, and especially for strong, analytical readers, there is still a HUGE stigma attached to the graphic novel format. I think people are getting hung up on the word ‘Graphic’. While there are some instances of sex and violence in graphic novels, ‘graphic’ should be taken to mean pictorial. (And, keep in mind that there is sex and violence in text-based novels, too! It’s all about how it’s handled.)
Anyway, the summary of my rant: There are some AMAZING graphic novels and comics out there that kids should be picking up. I just read Cardboard, by Doug Tennapel and it was awesome. It’s about a boy who gets a piece of magic cardboard from his father for his birthday and creates a man who comes alive. There are strict rules attached to this present, and when they aren’t followed, adventure ensues. There’s a bully, evil cardboard fiends, and deep friendship. It’s a quick read, but there is so much to it. Seriously, check it out. It’s at the library!
Now back to Free Comic Book Day! I have superhero’s coming. I have games! I have activities! I hope it’s a huge success. I’ve been promoting the day through our normal press channels within the library, as well as talking to the local papers. I love this media and people stuff. It’s so much fun striking up conversations with people about what I do. I’ve been talking to two comic shops which donated the comics for the program and they have gone above and beyond the call. Eye Opener in Newington and Richie’s Comic Cabana in Waterbury. Seriously, these guys are superheroes in their own right. They gave me and the library so much awesome stuff. I can’t wait to share it with the kids in a week. Check them out. They have a great selection of comics and all kinds of related stuff.
So, if you’re looking for a fun few hours on Saturday, May 4th from 2-4, come to the Southington Public Library and hang out with me. Bring the kids, send the teens, just stop by and say hi! I’m sure we can find something to interest you.
As always, this is Miss Molly the (OFFICIAL) librarian, signing off.