Sunday, June 30, 2013

Graphic Novels, Libraries and More

My friend and co-worker Sam and I were honored to represent the Anne Arundel County Public Library at yesterday's Annapolis Comic Con,  a con now in its third year. This was a lot of fun for both of us, plus we got to meet a lot of great people. We also got to tell people things about the library they didn't know.

Everyone knows, of course, that libraries have books, books, books. Some even know we have graphic novels and comics. Yet we couldn't get over the number of people who didn't know that we have popular movies and current TV shows on DVD. For free. We saw eyes widen when we told people we actually have Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Justified, True Blood, Dexter and more on DVD. Others had no idea we have downloadable audiobooks and ebooks that work with their ereader devices.

Sure, a lot of people knew we had programs like Storytime, but they didn't realize we also have Anime & Manga clubs, Star Wars programs including Star Wars Reads Day, and more. They didn't know that our branch has a Guys Book Club that recently discussed one of the most significant graphic novels of all time, Art Spiegelman's Maus. They didn't know that our branch is also planning not one, but two Superman programs in honor of the Man of Steel's 75th birthday.

Oh yeah, and we have this thing called Summer Reading Club. It provides opportunities for your kids to read during the summer. And have fun doing it! (Really!)

Yet we didn't have to tell people the importance of graphic novels and comics. They already know that comics and graphic novels are great tools for getting reluctant readers hooked on reading.

We're hoping to do more cons in the future. I think we began a journey yesterday to building even stronger relationships with the public, people who perhaps knew we're out there, but now know a little bit more about what we have to offer. And perhaps the most important thing we have to offer them is not our materials, but ourselves - our knowledge, our customer service, and our willingness to help. We're there, so let us know how we can help you.

Our library mascot Sneaks had such a great time at the con, he decided to go back in time and do it all over again!

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