This project only focuses on preserving the physical manga as is. No discussion of rebinding or digitization will occur. Those are separate issues to deal with.
~What is manga?
Manga in Japanese means comics and whimsical pictures. In America the word was adopted to represent graphic novels or comics from Japan. Manga is a licensed product from Japan. A Japanese publisher, licensor, has granted permission for a US publisher, licensee, to do something with the manga such as translate it in English, usually in exchange for some amount of money. The manga, in a graphic novel format, are compilations of chapters or segments of a story in either a single or multi volume series.
~Why should we preserve it?
Personal value- Manga fans read manga for leisure and entertainment. Some collect the manga for the artwork it contains. Others use the manga as reference tools to draw characters with similar style. Not only are they for leisurely reading, but they have been recently used for academic purposes, such as teaching a science class using manga.
Corporate value- Manga is a licensed product from Japan granted to a US Manga publisher. The existence of the English-language version produced by the US Manga publisher could be used as a record of the existence of manga in the US. This overseas license and production of the Japanese product can prove that manga has been accepted into the US market. Manga titles are licensed materials from Japan. Once the license for a manga title is over, if the original licensee does not renew the license, the English version of that manga title from that licensee will be out of print and will not exist anymore. Even if another publisher decides to obtain the license of that manga title, it may not be the exact same English version. It may be a different version altogether.
Library value- Believe it or not, manga, like United States produced comics and graphic novels, promote reading, literacy and can be used as a teaching tool. If a library wants to get people to read and learn, manga should be added and kept in their collection. Because people read and learn from manga, the usage and check out of manga could increase the circulation stats of the library.
~Examples of library value:
According to the Spring 2008 article In Texas Library Journal by Robert G. Weinerm, who is a reference librarian at the library, due to their graphic novel collection there was an increase in circulation. Weinerm, the self proclaimed "zeal of a fan boy," place similar items together in one area. He separated the collection by publishers and then by the publishers respective characters, such as Batman for DC Comics and X-Men for Marvel. "We put them with the graphic novels; and after they were moved, circulation of the Batman, Superman, Spider-man, etc. prose novels improved...We found that the circulation did indeed go up on all levels."
Weiner, Robert G. "One Library's Solution to the Cataloging Problem." Texas Library Journal 84.1 (Spring2008 2008): 8-16. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. EBSCO. Simmons Library, Boston, MA. 9 Nov. 2008
~Talcott Public Library-
According to their website, Graphic Novels for Young Adults: A New Collection at the Talcott Public Library, the library has a new approach to get teenagers to use their library. What the library is proposing is that they will be "reinvigorating" the young adult collection with a new collection that will catch the attention of the young patrons. The new collection, which will consist of graphic novels and manga, could be used as a promotional tool the other teen resources. As a result, it will increase young adult patronship and circulation in the library.
In regards to preserving the materials, according to the site: ""Items will be removed from the collection if they no longer meet the needs of the community, either by currency, physical appearance or use" (Talcott Public Library Collection Development Policy)." Even though this policy exists, this does not stop the library from trying to fight "the natural decomposition process" of graphic novels. If available, one way to fight this from happening is by ordering hardcover version of graphic novels. Another is the "BeeWee Bound books which are specially rebound to withstand the wear-and-tear of children and young adults." This is to "prolong the life of the materials."
"The goal of the new Young Adult Graphic Novel collection is to meet the needs of the patrons of the Talcott Public Library. This means that the collection will reflect the needs of those patrons, items will be repaired until they are no longer useful because of damage then they will be removed."~Roncalli Primary School and Roncalli Elementary School-
According to the article "Graphic Novels in the School Library to Help Promote Literacy for Boys" in PNLA QUARTERLY Summer 2005 by Sandy Andera, who is a librarian for the Primary and elementary schools, the comic books in thier collection were old and in poor condition. Because of the condition of the comics, she went into book stores and public library for current titles of the worn out comics. She discovered the graphic novels for the comics, but was I was questioning the "importance to the library." After conducting research on graphic novels, she "found that graphic novels help promote literacy while also encouraging the reluctant reader...By adding graphic novels to my collection, I was hoping that circulation by boys would increase."
To advertise the graphic novel collect and to "get the boys to read more books," she promoted "two or three different genres each month," such as humor, horror and sports. After having the graphic novels on a "special shelf" and having a "book talk" on the promoted genre, there was a fast circulation of graphic novels. As a result, "the graphic novels were so popular that at the end of the school year, there were still many circulation holds on them."
To protect the books from damage, if available, she purchased hardcover version of graphic novels and more than one copy. Unfortunately, soft cover version can not withstand the handling of patrons. "I have had to mend/glue/tape them a few times."
Andera, Sandy. "Graphic Novels in the School Library to Help Promote Literacy for Boys." PNLA Quarterly 71.4 (Summer2007 2007): 5-8. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. EBSCO. Simmons Library, Boston, MA. 9 Dec. 2008
~Cleveland Public Library-
According to Rollie Welch, a year after ordering their first manga collection, the library has an "active anime mania club." This club meets biweekly and had an anime film festival that was attended by more than 100 teens in one day at the library. The manga was quickly circulated and an estimate of twelve titles were checked out each time.
After presenting information about and the teen sensation towards graphic novels and manga to the serials committee, Welch "was given the directive by the committee to begin a collection that would be archived, so that future generations could visit CPL and view a sampling of twenty-first-century pop culture...With the archive project, we have the beginnings of a graphic novel collection that will stand the test of time and truly represent a fascinating (and oft neglected) segment of current pop culture."
Welch, Rollie, and Julianne Brown.. "Y Archive?." Young Adult Library Services 3.4 (Summer2005 2005): 22-26. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. EBSCO.
~The components of the manga:
text block, back and front cover, glue and any additional items on the manga, that may not be part of the actual book.
~Acidic or Not Acidic that is the question
To figure out if the manga is made from acidic materials, such as recycle paper, use a pH Pen as the testing tool. This is the cheapest way to test out the manga. Take the pen and make a small mark, usually in the middle of manga, on a page near the inner margin. If the mark turns: yellow = acidic = poor quality, purple = non-acidic = good quality.
~How could manga be damaged?
The purpose of manga is also what causes the damage. Manga is meant to be viewed for purposes such as reading and reference. The problem is how we view it. We do not simply open the book, but we open the book enough for us to view it. Manga can be further damaged by mishandling, improper storage areas and storing and poor preservation techniques.
Student Project: Preservation of Manga Part 2 Handling
Student Project: Preservation of Manga Part 3 Storage Area
Student Project: Preservation of Manga Part 4 Protection, Dark Horse Comics Archiving and Thank You's
© 2008 Linda Thai