Fans of the comic book and graphic novel genre have long known the allure of this visual and textual medium. Once dismissed by educators and librarians for their frivolity, over the last couple of decades professionals at K-12 and colleges and universities alike have embraced comics and graphic novels as vital and vibrant resources for learning and teaching.
At the William H. Hannon Library, we strive to build collections that not only meet the scholarly needs of our students and faculty, but also their need for collections that support personal enjoyment and enrichment. Graphic novels exist at this intersection, and can be found throughout our stacks. Highlights from our collection are on display in the Explore Staff Picks space (level 1 lobby) for the month of September.
Thanks to the sometimes confounding classification and organization schema prescribed by the Library of Congress, we do not have a permanent, dedicated section for graphic novels at the library. But you can use the following pro tips to make discovery of these visual, cultural, and literary treasures a little easier:
Browse the Stacks in PN6727
A large percentage of our graphic novels – regardless of subject – are shelved in the PN6727 section, located on the third floor of the library, in the section of shelving just to the left of the library administration office suite.
Use Form/genre field in LINUS (library catalog)
In the drop-down menu of search fields in LINUS, select Form/Genre. Then, if you type in “graphic novel,” you’ll be able to browse the results, regardless of where they are shelved in the library. While most are in PN6727, you will also find them in the popular reading collection, oversize, curriculum materials, and elsewhere throughout the stacks.
Find More through LINK+
We have a nice collection of graphic novels. But this is a massively popular genre, and other libraries may collect much more extensively than we do in this area. Use LINK+ to discover and borrow graphic novels from partner public and academic libraries throughout California and Nevada.
In addition to having graphic works themselves, we collect resources related to scholarly study and application of the genre. A few examples include:
- Wham! Teaching with Graphic Novels Across the Curriculum
- Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom : Essays on the Educational Power of Sequential Art
- The Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel
- The Blacker the Ink : Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art
Librarians also use graphic novels in our own work. For example, librarian Susan Archambault partnered with Communication Studies Professor Dean Schiebel to integrate the visual and narrative structure of comics into information literacy instruction, and librarian Aisha Conner-Gaten is a contributor to the newly published book Comics and Critical Librarianship.
We’d love to hear from our community about graphic novels anytime! How do you integrate them into the curriculum at LMU? Are there titles that you would like to suggest we add to our collections? Let us know by contacting your librarian liaison, or by using the request a book form.