In the mid-20th century, comics had a reputation for being lowbrow reading. That time is long past, and now libraries and readers have embraced comics and graphic novels as an essential part of their collections.
The Christian County Library is no exception, and in recent years, the library has worked to build and feature a collection of comics and graphic novels that meets the needs of local readers.
The library has a growing collection of around 1,000 graphic novels in printed format, and those titles have checked out nearly 16,000 times. In the library, there are sections of graphic novels for young children, school-age children, teens, and adults. Superhero and Star Wars titles are particularly popular in Christian County, but the library’s collection of graphic novels includes lots of manga, adaptions of literature, biographies, non-fiction, and classic and award-winning comics for all ages.
They can be lighthearted and funny, like Chi’s Sweet Home, a cute series for young readers about a lost kitten who finds a home, or serious and thought-provoking, like Lily Renée, Escape Artist, about a young Jewish girl who escapes Nazi-occupied Austria and must survive without her family.
Print is not the only format in which Christian County Library cardholders have access to comics. Every library user can also access Comics Plus, a collection of 16,000 graphic novels and comics accessible from any computer or mobile device. Tablet and smartphone users can visit their app store and download the free app called Comics Plus: Library Edition.
After creating an account with their library card number and email address, users can browse titles by genre, publisher, or title. All titles are available free anytime, and can be checked out for seven days, with no limits to how many titles can be borrowed.
Need comic recommendations? Library staff are happy to help match readers with comics that fit their interests and reading levels. Comics can be a great way to get young reluctant readers interested in books, or to read a familiar story in a new way, like the manga version of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
The American Library Association even releases an annual list called “Great Graphic Novels for Teens.” If it’s been a while since you’ve read a comic, pick one up next time you visit the library, or download the Comics Plus app.
Reading comics can be an enlightening, enjoyable and rewarding experience.