Graphic Novels: A Brief History and Overview for Library Managers

Janet Pinkley, Kaela Casey


Graphic novels have long fought to gain literary recognition; however, as the struggle has unfolded, graphic novels have not only achieved this, but have also been recognized for their uses and applications within other disciplines as well. These books have overcome the medium’s criticisms of violence, sexual situations, and stereotypes of male power, and have earned their place in our society, and in libraries. As more libraries, both public and academic, integrate graphic novels into their collections, the potential for criticism and censorship attempts increases. Graphic novels deserve the same recognition and consideration for inclusion in libraries as other literary formats; therefore, library managers must have a basic understanding of the format in order to defend their inclusion in collections to critics.


graphic novels; library collections; academic libraries; public libraries; censorship

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