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Why Graphic Novels? Five Practices to Transform Your Library
Why Graphic Novels? Five Practices to Transform Your Library

Graphic novels are powerful! In a learning community, they can light up engagement while integrating and developing a variety of literacies—not to mention presenting a gateway genre to undiscovered readers shy to dive into denser texts. Whether you love graphic novels, have an aversion to speech bubbles, or simply haven't had the opportunity to explore them, it's hard to refute their value. Join high school librarian Alicia Abdul and public librarian and author Jack Phoenix as they discuss how librarians can maximize their graphic novel collections as a transformative tool to renovate traditional practices, promote readership, and ignite collaboration.

Join us to learn more about:

  • Key terminology of the genre
  • Best practices in collection development and design for your graphic novels, comics, and manga
  • Classroom collaboration, balancing student interest in the genre with curriculum requirements, and effective programming and teaching ideas
  • How to promote comics and graphic novels and engage in community partnerships that support their use in your curriculum
  • How to connect to the genre yourself and stay informed

About the Presenters

Alicia Abdul, MLIS, has worked as a public high school librarian in Albany, NY, since 2007. She currently reviews for several library magazines and facilitates a regional Young Adult Book Group, and she has served on YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens and Best Fiction for Young Adults committees, in addition to the William C. Morris Award Committee. She blogs on Wordpress at and contributes to a books blog for the Albany Times Union newspaper.

Jack Phoenix is a librarian in the Greater Cleveland area. He has worked in or with public libraries for more than a decade in various capacities. He is a member of the American Library Association, the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table, the Ohio Library Council, and the Comics Studies Society, and he has presented at professional conferences on the topics of comics, collection development, and publishing. Jack is also the author of Maximizing the Impact of Comics in Your Library: Graphic Novels, Manga, and More (Libraries Unlimited 2020).

MLA Citation

Abdul, Alicia and Jack Phoenix. "Why Graphic Novels? Five Practices to Transform Your Library." School Library Connection, July 2020,

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Entry ID: 2250627