Nick Smith of the Pasadena Public Library writes in to offer some advice to his fellow librarians regarding building graphic novel areas in their libraries:

For those of you who need ammunition in getting your administration to let you create separate graphic novel areas, I have recently received some startling circulation statistics.

After a long struggle, our library got separate graphic novel labels and shelving areas for adult, YA, JRHI and Juvenile graphic novels.  I have started gathering circulation statistics covering what happens, now that these areas are separate and visible.

Among other things, the increase in the circulation of the Juvenile graphic novels is astounding.  From July 1 of 2008 through March 31 of 2009, the average copy of our juvenile graphic novels circulated 16 times!  By comparison, the average juvenile novel circulated 3 times.  That's more than a fivefold increase, which is a LOT more than I expected.

For the Junior High collection, the average graphic novel circulated 6 times, compared to 3 for the comparable text novels.

For the YA collection, the circulation of graphic novels is also about double that of the comparable novels.  What made this interesting is that until recently, our YA novels included a lot of graphic novels that hadn't been re-cataloged.  THOSE started flying off the shelves once they were moved to the Graphic Novel shelves.

We are still waiting for the adult numbers, but the juvenile ones are amazing.  Whatever we add to that collection flies off the shelf.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of