Nonfiction Graphic Novels for Librarians

Many contemporary sequential art narratives present factual information dynamically and require reader development of transmedia literacy.

Learning outcomes:
•Understanding of the sequential art format’s information communication attributes
•Ability to read graphic novel works critically
•Awareness of resources for building nonfiction graphic novel collections for adults
•Awareness of the need to address transmedia’s intellectual demands and provisions in the information resource environment

The term “graphic novel,” at least in North America right now, encompassing nonfiction as well as fiction sequential art works. By focusing on how both creators and readers of graphic novels use the medium to communicate and analyze nonfiction topics, we can better understand that concept presentation is an essential element in making information accessible.

Simultaneity can be communicated through sequential art more effectively than it can in prose narrative, making subjects in both science and the humanities excellent places for nonfiction graphic novel representation in the collection. Visual information gathering also quickly illuminates areas of psychological and cultural subtleties without having to digress into explanatory descriptions and allowing for a more quickly satisfying and accessible exposure to important details of nonfiction study in areas ranging from travel to government policy to court proceedings and elder care.

Webinar points:
•How reading sequential art narratives works
•Resources for new those devoted to the sciences and the humanities
•How transliteracy increases awareness and analytical opportunities
•Recommended collection development resources featuring adult audiences

Francisca Goldsmith has been a library trainer for over a dozen years, as well as having a much longer career in public and academic libraries, in public service postings to reference, collection management, and youth services, and management and administration in libraries both in the US and Canada. She has authored two books with ALA Editions on graphic novels as material for collections and readers’ advisory, works with nonlibrary information seekers to refine social media awareness and skills, and enjoys helping library staff explore areas of culture less frequently travelled by traditional practitioners.


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