Over the years my library’s graphic novel section has grown exponentially. What started as a few manga series collections has morphed into graphic novels from all genres and nonfiction areas. With all the growth and change it was time to move this section apart into two diverse groups: manga and graphic novels.
My thinking on this topic started when a student brought to my attention the huge difference between manga and the rest of the graphic novels in my section. When the library was genrefied all of the graphic novels were put together and stickered the same. While browsing this section the student was only interested in the manga and expressed an interest in having a section that they could go to just for those types of readers.
The space I currently have for my graphic novels really lent itself to this shift. I have two sides of a long two-shelf bookcase dedicated already. The separation of one side for manga and one side for graphic novels was an easy decision. Keeping each section to its own side will give that definition and separation that I’m looking for between the two areas.
Spine Label Design
To further the distinction between the manga and graphic novel sections, I felt like I needed to change the spine label genrefication sticker for the manga into something unique. To create the design I went to one of my library volunteers, Sage. They did a great job brainstorming ideas with me for the sticker. I especially appreciated the inside perspective of a reader of manga when coming up with design concepts. We chose to use Canva as our creation tool. Those of you who have not seen Canva, it is an amazing design tool. As an educator you have free access to the premium version!
By separating these two divisions of graphic content in my library I hope to increase circulation. Readers that are coming in to find manga will have a place of their own to go directly to in the library. More space will be given specifically for manga, which will allow me to continue to grow this section. Moving things around can be refreshing and new, I can’t wait to see the students’ response to this movement for manga.
Author: Elizabeth Libberton
Elizabeth Libberton is the library media specialist at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles Illinois. She currently writes book reviews for School Library Journal. She is a member of the ALA Awards Selection Committee. Also, she is a member of the steering committee for the AISLE Lincoln Book Award.