Managing the Unmanageable Manga

During these grey days of winter, combat seasonal-deficit-disorder and take control of your colorful YA Manga collections.marymillermangapic

Popular series seem to go on forever…Naruto is on volume 59, Bleach on volume 54, One Piece volume 66 out in March, and they show little signs of ending. Unfortunately, YA shelf space does not expand as waistlines do around the holidays. Breathe deeply and decide what to weed and what to keep. Circulation statistics do not rule as sole criteria since this is a collection that flies out the library and gives all Young Adult librarians warm fuzzy feelings that teens are reading.

When deciding what to weed, consult with your anime and manga club. Do they still read series that have ended? What are their favorite series and what are their least favorites? Hunting though the manga you will probably discover series that ceased after a few volumes, and now you have room to order new series.

There are three very helpful sources.  No Flying No Tights, Graphic Novel Reporter, and The New York Times manga bestsellers list.  The library journals have articles on manga and most regularly review new series. Each January, YALSA publishes their best graphic novels list which includes new and popular manga titles.

At the YALD (Young Adult Librarian’s Discussion) meeting on January 16th at the Des Plaines Library, several librarians commented that they use Otaku USA , Viz, and the Tokyo Pop newsletter.

Join YALSA’s Electronic Discussion Lists for another great discovery tool. Young adult librarians discuss many issues from new and popular titles, how to start a manga collection, and shelving dilemmas.  The organization of graphic novels relies on collaboration between cataloging and public service departments.  Each library tends to discover a “whatever works” solution.

Your friendly comic book stores are also useful allies. They are suppliers of free comics to libraries on Free Comic Book Day.  To find a comic store close to your library consult the Free Comic Book Day website.freecomicbookdaylogo

Even with careful checking some manga series will slip through the cracks and not be discovered until a teen request an issue and the series is now on volume 15. Thanks to library systems and the generous sharing of materials a new manga series is just a click away. This is the perfect time to reassure yourself that perfection is unattainable and place the system hold. As with shelf space, YA book budgets are not expandable either.


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