One of the greatest contributions to society as a whole is the invention of the public library. If it didn’t exist it would almost be hard to explain. There is this building, filled with books, and you can go in and borrow any book you want and then you return it and can borrow more books. Knowledge is available to anyone. And it is free.
Yes, I know that we pay taxes so it isn’t technically free, but the point stands. It does not cost any additional user fees to borrow from your local library.
I have been increasingly overjoyed to see that graphic novel sections have been steadily growing in libraries in the past few years. Many branches now carry a wide variety of superhero books, manga, and small press books for readers of all ages.
This is a great thing for libraries, it is a great thing for comic book stores, and it is a great thing for the comic book industry as a whole. Getting more people interesting in your work will result in more sales and library visits allow customers to try out something new without the fear of dislike or buyers remorse. This will result in more sales. In addition to reaching a larger audience it provides a legitimacy to the medium that has been too long thought of as the bastard stepchild of literature.
The first place I read Maus was from a library and now it sits on my shelf. I first read Green Lantern Rebirth from the library and now I have the entire Johns GL trade run. More graphic novels in the library results in more sales.
I try to visit my local branch about once per month. I like to try new things or those books that might have seemed interesting once upon a time but for whatever reason didn’t make the pull list. This allows me to keep up to date with the collective histories of comic book worlds, which is key research for my work on this site. I do all for you my loyal readers.
I am also constantly pleased to see many parents introducing their children to the medium by means of the library. Kids are getting to read about Superman and Batman for the first time, or maybe they are being drawn into the multitude of volumes in an episodic manga, or even using graphic novels to aid in writing that report on Louis Riel.
I support reading. I support comic books. I support reading as many comic books as is possible whether they are purchased from a local comic shop, read digitally, or borrowed from your local library.
If you don’t visit your library I strongly encourage you to check it out. But you don’t have to take my word for it.