Last week Judy and I went to the ILA (Iowa Library Association) annual conference in Coralville, Iowa.
The theme was "Hard Times, Hard Decisions." And right now I'm having a hard time making a decision about what to share with you. There was so much interesting information shared at each session and I would like to share them all. However, I have decided to divide the sessions and write about a couple in the next several library columns.
What is a graphic novel? Are they comic books or a book with a lot of pictures and some writing? Can they help a child learn to read? These are questions I hear as people come into the library looking for a book. Teens could answer these questions and many more about this type of novel.
One of the sessions I attended was about Graphic Novels. Mary Ann Mori, director of the Waukee Public Library stated that graphic novels are a wonderful way to promote literacy and leadership among middle school and high school students.
Graphic novels are a logical extension of the comic book. They tell a story using pictures in sequence. Although the format has been available for centuries, graphic novels are becoming more and more part of the mainstream collections in school and public libraries. Offering students the option of graphic novels can be essential to helping them develop a love of reading. These novels are a stepping stone to other books.
Mary Ann was asked to improve the teen program at their library. Her students showed an interest in graphic novels. Therefore, she decided to have them organize and help develop programs based on graphic novels. They were put in charge of the program and she helped them with their ideas. When she did this, the teen program took off and grew larger every year. Mary said it was so rewarding to see them take charge and create a positive and exciting reading experience at the library for other teens.
Some misunderstandings about these novels are that they are too easy and they are too graphic. But teens like them because they are a quick read and they use graphics and dialogue to tell a story. The vocabulary in these novels challenges students to use their reading skills to sound out new words they may not have encountered in other novels.
A good example of this is a new graphic novel series, "Lunch Lady" which are geared for 9-12 year old readers. I came across words like league, electronics, nutrition, gadgets, fabulous, refridgaportal, etc. The Cherokee Public Library has the first three books in this series.
Come check out this new series about the Lunch Lady who not only served school lunches, but also served justice.
We have other graphic novels ready to be checked out. Some are the original Manga (Japanese) graphic novels and the others are American graphic novels.
I will share more of my experience at the conference in my next article.
Just a reminder that every Tuesday there will be pre-school (3-5 year olds) story time from 10:30 a.m. -- 11 a.m. Come join us for stories, finger plays, songs, rhymes, and crafts.
Youth in Action will meet Tuesday, October 19 from 3:45 p.m. -- 4:45 p.m. "Let the Games Begin" is the theme. The students will have so much time to try to win each game and each game will be more difficult that the last. There will be snacks. Don't forget to ride bus #3 to the library.
Thursday, Oct. 21 the Home Schoolers will meet from 2 p.m. -- 3 p.m. Come get acquainted with other families and share ideas with each other.
After School Bunch will meet Tuesday, Nov. 2 from 3:45 p.m. -- 4:45 p.m. Be sure to mark your calendars.
A special program for parents will be Monday, November 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The program will be about youth and the internet. Do you have questions about face book, twittering, and other social networking your youth are using? Jeff Friedrichsen will talk about these internet activities and he will take time to answer your questions. I hope to see you there.
Halloween is just around the corner. Have a safe and happy Halloween.