I enjoyed and appreciated Stegall-Armour’s discussion of librarians’ views of graphic novels. I was hoping that Stegall-Armour’s study would conclude that librarians are in favor of graphic novels and think of them as more than “glorified comic books.” Stegall-Armour surveyed librarians at a public library, in a variety of library positions, regarding their views of graphic novels. Most of the librarians defined graphic novels with a variety of words and also readily admitted that graphic novels are appropriate for all ages, even though they seem to be most popular with adolescent males. I thought it was interesting that Stegall-Armour observed the librarians speaking against graphic novels, but that these same people gave very different answers when they were surveyed. It is possible that they librarians gave the answers they thought Stegall-Armour would want, rather than a response that reflects their beliefs, but Stegall-Armour also had a good point: “As a general rule, librarians respect information in all formats, functions, and types. The librarian’s job is to protect and provide information, not to oppress and suppress it.”
I thought it was interesting that Stegall-Armour brought up the idea of using graphic works as a bridge, not a stepping stone, to allow students who are not interested in reading print works to participate in classroom learning and discussion. I agree that graphic works can enhance the learning of students, in the same way that using any other teaching method, like acting out a story, creating art about the story, or building a LEGO construction about the story, can help students to become more interested in the print material being discussed. I would have no issues with a teacher choosing to teach a graphic novel in a classroom any more than I would with a teacher who chose to use Shakespeare’s works or a current popular novel. In fact, using a variety of methods and media will help the teacher (or librarian) reach a wider audience.