Bleeding Cool reporter Marilyn Weiss writes:
Once again, the San Diego Public Library has partnered with Comic-Con International to bring back their special series of panels called Talking Comics with America’s Educators: The Comic Conference for Educators and Librarians. This is its own free five-day mini conference that takes play during Comic-Con. The series focuses specifically on libraries and educators, and presents new innovative ways to include comics and graphic novels in the educational process.
On Thursday morning at the Creators, Libraries, and Literacy panel, librarians and educators got to meet Raina Telgemeier, Matt Holm, Molly Ostertag, Zander Cannon and Mike Lawrence and discuss the impact that libraries and librarians had on their work. The general consensus was simple: libraries are a safe place of exploration. Or, as Telegemeier lovingly stated about them, “There’s a giant heart above my head.”
Each of the creators credited their love of books and comics to having library access as children. Libraries gave many of them a place to explore all different types of literature without any barriers. And, possibly just as important, it acted as a physically safe place to stay cool and out of trouble.
Unfortunately, comics have not always been embraced by parents and teachers as educationally valuable medium. But Lawrence credited the changing attitude towards comics in education to librarians who work hard to get comics into the hands of kids. He claimed that one of the biggest confidence boots he can get is librarians telling him that his books are always checked out and that he wouldn’t be where he is now without “librarians fighting a lot of our battles for us.”
The panel also offered some advice to educators looking for better ways to better support comic creators: support independent and self-published comics. Ostertag suggested that libraries could start by purchasing self-published mini-comics and getting in touch with creators at local comic book stores.
Panel attendees got to head home with a couple of freebees, including Ghosts by Telgemeier, as well as advanced readers copies of Swing It, Sunny by Matt and Jennifer Holm and The Witch Boy by Ostertag.
And speaking of libraries, be sure to stop and say hi to the San Diego Public Library at booth #5523. Attendees can sign up for a library card and pick up one of three officially licensed Comic-Con Library cards. There are three exclusive designs to choose from. The cards were designed by local artists Vince Alvendia, Robert McKeone, and Abbita Royster.