In a perfect world, I would have a mighty council of students who would choose, research and tell me what fiction to buy. But let’s face it, if I had enough students reading regularly (and willing to research stuff for me) to make a mighty council, then I probably wouldn’t need to worry about getting students to read as much as I do.
I do, however, have a mighty big group of students willing to tell me what to buy for our graphic novel section. After all, we do have a manga/anime club run by my lovely colleague and one of the Japanese teachers.
We’re very lucky. The previous librarian was very committed to builidng up the graphic novels and she purchased all of them from one supplier- Zombster in Toowong- who has a specialist in school libraries. He knows everything we have in the way of manga (I think our graphic novels of the western persuasion have been sourced from other suppliers in the past), brings in the new editions of series and makes suggestions on what’s new and appropriate for school-aged children.
Earlier in the year we did a selection day: invited students received three post-its and could place them on items they wanted. We bought the most popular, considered the ones with a few post-its and became quickly aware of what was trending (Adventure Time and Avatar kicked arse).
I loved watching kids try and talk their friends into putting post-its on their favourite items and how selective they had to be knowing they only had three votes. As someone who reads the adventure manga heavily, having girls tell you about the teen romance manga (ALWAYS: She was just a normal girl, he was the most popular boy in school/a pop star/ a film star…) makes me aware of what my kids want.
Which is the most important thing when attracting recreational readers, don’t you think?