ALA Annual 2022

Comics Challenges with the #GNCRT at #ALAAC2022

I started my #ALAAC2022 experience with the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table’s (#GNCRT) Friday Forum which focused on Comics Challenges. Taking place from 11-3, there were three unique panels comprised of creators, publishers, and librarians. The first panel (which, full disclosure, I also moderated) was about challenges among award-winning books. The second panel focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion in comics. The forum ended with a panel about concrete tips on how to address comics challenges.

The GNCRT recently created a committee to help address challenges to comics and graphic novels. All the panels discussed that challenges to comics is not something new. Historically, the format has faced challenges.

So, what can you do if your library faces a challenge? Unanimously, the panel members agreed that libraries should be proactive and make sure that there is a collection development policy that includes (or has a separate) challenge policy. Panelists stressed re-visiting and updating these policies on a regular basis. They should be “living documents.” Then, it is important to report challenges to the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom. After the challenge, it is important to update your policies, as needed. Remember to “LIVE to library another day. You are not alone.” In an earlier panel, Lumberjanes creator Shannon Watters provided a similar message when she thanked librarians and encouraged us to take care of ourselves!

For more information, the complete challenges toolkit, and to take the GNCRT’s survey about your training in and knowledge of comic book bans, click here. Really useful information!

#comics #graphic novels #freedom to read #librarians #banned books #censorship

Guest Conference Blogger Soline Holmes (she/her/hers) is a librarian and the Library/Technology Department chair at Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, Louisiana. Soline is excited to be back in person at ALA and is looking forward to the Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy banquet and ALSC’s Newbery 100 Celebration! on Saturday, June 25.  She is a Member-at-Large for ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable. She also serves on the Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award committee, is a board member of the New Orleans Information Literacy Collective (2021-22 Chair), and is a Teaching with Primary Sources Network Mentor. She has given presentations on graphic novels, Mother Goose and STEM, Primary Sources, and Global Education at local and national conferences. Soline also co-authored, with Alicia Schwarzenbach, an article about graphic novels as informational texts for Children and Libraries and was interviewed for Book Links about how to best use graphic novels in the classroom.  Most recently, she was selected for and honored to participate in ALSC’s Bill Morris seminar.  Look for Soline as the moderator of a session of the GNCRT’s Friday Forum about Comics Challenges.  

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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