Showing posts from February, 2014

Getting Started with Graphic Novels

I'm in charge of ordering the adult graphic novels for my location and some of our eight branches. I took on this part of the collection several years ago, as well as responsibility for ordering nonfiction that falls in the 741.5 call number, which is where our catalogers put all the books on how to draw manga, comics, and graphic novels, as well as things like Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. I "only" have $750 to spend a year at this location (and $100 per branch), so I only place orders twice a year. Your mileage may vary--I realize this is a bigger budget than many libraries probably have.

Because we also have a young adult graphic novel collection and a separate collection down in the children's department, I can focus on titles that will be of primary interest to adults. The YA librarian orders many of the most popular superhero titles--Batman, the infinite varieties of X-Men, and so on--leaving me blissfully free of that budget drain.

What if I'm Starting fro…

Collection development in 4 easy steps! (with music for my amusement)

Step 1:Know your audience. This is the first step because it's the most important, and the one that you'll do constantly. This is an evolving step, and you never finish it. From the day you start until your final day in the job, you will be trying to know your audience. I have seen lots of people in this job get tripped up by this step. They think, because it's so basic, that it can slip down to a lower spot on the list. It cannot. If you remember nothing else from this blog, remember this: you can never stop getting to know your audience. It isn't static. Even if they are homogeneous in age, race, gender (which they aren't), that doesn't mean they are uniform in thought or taste. Humans have a natural curiosity about things, many things. They may approve or disapprove of those things, once they've experienced it, but that doesn't mean they don't want to know.

Step 2: Know your surroundings. There might be a library out there that can afford to buy e…