Purpose – This paper aims to provide an historical perspective and current guidance for youth librarians collecting graphic novels for teens. Design/methodology/approach – The paper provides a brief review of the historical issues involved with censorship/intellectual freedom and comics and of current teen‐oriented graphic novels with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning of sexual orientation (GLBTQ) content in Canada and the USA. It also provides a context for negotiating intellectual freedom and collection management policy issues, and suggestions for targeted acquisitions of teen graphic novels with GLTBQ content. Findings – The paper provides a brief overview of US and Canadian censorship of comics, including how this legacy affects today's market. It recognizes the difficulty of obtaining information and recommendations for teen‐appropriate graphic novels containing GLBTQ content, and makes suggestions for core collection items. Research limitations/implications – Only English sources from the USA and Canada are reviewed. Francophone Canadian literature is relevant but outside of the scope of this paper. Practical implications – The paper is a useful source of information for the librarian looking for collection development suggestions, and/or for the librarian dealing with or preparing against intellectual freedom challenges to graphic novels or GLBTQ material for teens. Originality/value – This paper furthers discussion of censorship of graphic novels and of GLBTQ material, and provides concrete suggestions to librarians developing a teen graphic novel collection. The issue is timely, as the graphic novel industry is booming and the ALA has documented an increasing number of challenges to graphic novels in libraries. Few previous papers on graphic novels or comics have included Canadian content, although the Canada‐American library worlds, publishing industries and legal codes are historically and currently intertwined.
Collection Building – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 9, 2007
Keywords: Censorship; Homosexuals; Comics; Young adults; Canada; United States of America
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