CHICAGO - Graphic novels are exploding in popularity. This sometimes misunderstood type of book is a full-length story told in paneled, sequential, graphic format and it is different from book-length collections of comic strips or wordless picture books.
In recognition of the importance of these books for children, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) directed its Quicklists Consulting Committee to create a list of titles for public librarians serving elementary school-age children (kindergarten through 8th grade). The result is the Children’s Graphic Novel Core Collection from ALSC.
“This core list will guide librarians in selecting the best graphic novels to meet children’s needs,” said Mary Fellows, board president. “Graphic novels are wildly popular with kids, positively impact children’s visual literacy skill development and are an essential part of 21st century library collections.”
Selecting graphic novels for library collections can be challenging for librarians who may feel that they don’t have sufficient knowledge to identify appropriate books for different ages, or may be simply overwhelmed by the number of titles available.
To help with the selection process, the committee developed a “core” list for public libraries to use when starting or maintaining a children's graphic novel collection. The list includes classics as well as new titles that have been widely recommended and well-reviewed and books that have popular appeal as well as critical acclaim.
The committee identified the best books that are currently available and will update the list at least annually to add the best of new releases and remove titles that have gone out of print.
ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at www.ala.org/alsc.
Members of the 2011 Quicklists Consulting Committee include: co-chair, Natasha Forrester, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; co-chair, Laura Jenkins, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Ill.; Kim Becnel, Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.; Anne Beier, Clifton Public Library, Clifton, N.J.; Kay Bowes, Brandywine Hundred Library, Wilmington, Del.; Andrea Cleland, Clearview Library District, Windsor, Colo.; Amanda Ellington, Saint Mary’s County Library, Lexington Park, Md; Doris Gebel, Northport-East Northport Public Library, Northport, N.Y.; Eric Gomez, Broward County African-American Research Library, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Clara Hendricks, Watertown, Mass.; Maeve Knoth, San Mateo County Library, San Mateo, Calif.; Cheryl Lee, Palo Alto City Library, Palo Alto, Calif.; Merri Lindgren, Cooperative Children’s Book Center, Madison, Wis.; Rachel Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Shilo Pearson, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Ill.; Jennifer Smith, Suffern Free Library, Suffern, N.Y.; and Frances Veit, Buckham Memorial Library, Faribault, Minn.