State Library Awards Grants To Develop Graphic Novel Collections

TRENTON—The New Jersey State Library announces the award of $3,000 grants to 14 libraries to assist them with establishing and growing their graphic novel collections. Funding for the program was made possible through the Florence Taylor Tischler and Nathaniel Tischler Memorial Fund.

The libraries will use the money to either develop their core collections of graphic novels for adults, teens and children, or expand existing collections. Graphic novels are original literary works combining illustrations and words in the tradition of comic books, and are popular with all age groups.


The New Jersey State Library serves as a leader in the provision, promotion and support of excellent quality library and information services for all people in New Jersey. This grant was specifically designed to help smaller libraries in the state with their graphic novel collections.

“We recognize that our smaller libraries face funding challenges when it comes to providing their customers with the variety of products they’d like,” said Norma Blake, New Jersey State Librarian.  “Although it’s rare for the State Library to fund a core collection like this, we believe it’s important to bring this popular genre to smaller libraries who otherwise couldn’t afford these books.”

As part of the grant, the State Library conducted workshops featuring experts discussing various aspects of graphic novel collection development, and furnished a core graphic novel bibliography for the librarians to use to purchase books for their collections.

Workshop panelists were John Cunningham, vice president of marketing for DC Comics, Laverne Mann, librarian with the Mercer County Library, David Inabnitt, librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library, and Sophie Brookover, librarian with Eastern Regional Senior High School, Audubon.

State Library Awards Grants To Develop Graphic Novel Collections
David Lisa (left), Urban Libraries and Adult Services Specialist for the NJ State Library, with John Cunningham, vice president of Marketing for DC Comics, who spoke on the topic “What Comics Publishers can do for Graphic Novel Needs of Librarians” at the Graphics Novel Workshops.  Lisa coordinated the workshops and administers the Graphic Novel Grants.

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