The following article appears in the December 2012 issue of College & Research Libraries News.
John J. Meier
Science Librarian in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences Library at Penn State University
College & Research Libraries News
From the Article
A small but rapidly growing portion of comics and graphic novels is not only nonfiction, but is also focused on science and scientists. Since these books tackle the topics at an advanced level, they can bring a real benefit to academic library collections. It has been argued that academic libraries can use graphic novels to support the curriculum in a number of subject areas, including history, film, and literature studies.1 They can also be used as leisure reading materials for students who have grown up with the graphic novel as a pervasive medium in popular culture. Now academic librarians have a real opportunity to support science and engineering curricula with this emerging format.
While librarians seem convinced that comics are appropriate to the academy as professionals, how does this play out in practice? In order to assess the collection of graphic novels in academic libraries, C. Wagner examined ARL collections using a list of award-winning and librarian-recommended graphic novels.
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