Do you have a library card? How frequently do you use it to check out books, comics, movies, music, or other materials? In addition to providing free access to all kinds of media, public libraries also provide necessary community resources: computers and internet access, language courses, career workshops, activity groups for kids, and more. Since September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, the Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) is partnering with comics creators in support of the effort to get more folks into their local libraries with the #GetLibraryCarded campaign.
For the month of September, the GNCRT will feature a new creator each day posing with their library card. #GetLibraryCarded spotlights the mutually beneficial relationship between creators and libraries in support of literacy, intellectual freedom, and creative expression. Libraries make up a large percentage of trade paperback and graphic novel sales across publishers and genres, which gets creators’ books into more readers’ hands; likewise, creators can utilize library facilities for work or play, just like anyone with a library card can.
According to a press release from the American Library Association, this is the first advocacy campaign of the GNCRT. The group advocates ongoing advocacy and outreach at several national conventions, which includes hosting professional development sessions and hosting booth or pop-up libraries. They are committed to public outreach and advocacy around comics and comics readership at all levels, as well as professional development within librarianship.
On Tuesday, August 27, Newsarama announced the #GetLibraryCarded campaign and featured Eisner and Dwayne McDuffie Award-winning cartoonist, comics educator and editor Christina “Steenz” Stewart, who used to be a librarian herself. In fact, she and Ivy Noelle Weir, another former librarian, combined forces on 2018’s Archival Quality, which was about — surprise! — a (haunted) library.
GET A LIBRARY CARD! If you have an address and mail that verifies it and some form of ID, you now have access to a ton of books. You'd be surprised which graphic novels are in your local library too! If you're in STL, get one for @STLpubLibrary and check out 50 books at a time!! https://t.co/vfqP2TPEKd
— Vitamin Steenz #BLM (@oheysteenz) August 27, 2019
In addition to Stewart, the #GetLibraryCarded campaign will also feature writer/artist Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn, Marvel Knights, Painkiller Jane), cartoonist Dav Pilkey (Dog Man, Captain Underpants), and writer Lilah Sturges (Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass, The Magicians: Alice’s Story), among others. The ALA and GNCRT encourage all libraries and patrons to participate in the campaign, as well, by posing with their own library cards or their favorite graphic novels and comics, then post on social media with the hashtag #GetLibraryCarded.
For more information or to see the other creators involved, follow @libcomix and @ALALibrary on Twitter. Additionally, you can use and follow the hashtags #GetLibraryCarded, #LibraryCardSignUp, #CreatorsGetCarded, and #LibComix.