Free Webinars for Educators and Librarians Center Around Comics

Artists' ShowcaseAmerican Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) is hosting free webinars focused on information about comics and manga for education.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 10th is a webinar titled, Addressing the Gatekeepers: How to Turn Comic and Graphic Novel Skeptics Into Believers. Aimed at helping educators and libraries interested in adding graphic novels to their classrooms and collections, but faced with administrators or other gatekeepers that still don’t see the merit in the medium. The event is free to attend and is co-sponsored by Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association. From the ALA event calendar,

While many librarians and educators understand the value of comics and graphic novels, there are still those who need convincing. How do we get these resistant gatekeepers to open the doors and let comics in? This webinar will give you tools to address concerns, dispel myths, and show the benefits that comics and graphic novels bring to classrooms and libraries. Learn how creators, publishers, and librarians have dealt with these issues.

Panelists include CBLDF’s own Betsy Gomez (She Changed Comics), Professor of Media and Cultural Studies John Jennings, Image Comics’ Chloe Ramos Peterson, and moderator Emily Ratica, a member of AASL’s Induction Program and a high school Teacher Librarian.

The live event takes place 4/10/19 at 6PM Central Time. For those unavailable to attend can watch the webcast in the AASL archive, which is free for AASL members and subscribers to AASL eCOLLAB, but can also be purchased by non-members. Register today to participate in the live event!

Next week, April 17, there’s another webinar on Comics Librarianship: Essential Tools for the School Librarian. Also free for live viewers, this webinar offers tools for finding quality reviews, collection development assistance, programming tools, programming ideas, and more. Register today!

On April 42, a webinar that is especially relevant for CBLDF supporters will be offered, Don’t #%?$ My Graphic Novels: Conquering Challenges and Protecting the Right to Read

We strive to create inclusive library collections that reflect a diverse global community. But what happens when members of the school community challenge or attempt to ban such inclusive materials?

In 2018, 38% of reported book challenges took place in schools. Among the challenged works were those in illustrated format, including Persepolis, Drama, This One Summer, Captain Underpants, Bad Kitty, and Bone. As we celebrate School Library Month, join us in advocating for and defending books that incorporate art with Bad Kitty author and illustrator Nick Bruel and librarians Mariela Siegert, Martha Hickson, and Suzanna Panter. They will share their experiences with censorship and navigating a graphic novel challenge. Moderated by Kristin Pekoll, assistant director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, with resources and tools to support inclusion of all types of learning resources.

#3 Captain Underpants_0The theme for this year’s April is School Library Month is Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library, and the spokesperson this year is Dav Pilkey, the creator behind the best-selling Captain Underpants and Dumb Bunny series.


Dave Pilkey on getting chosen to be the ambassador this year,

Growing up with learning challenges in school after being diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, I’ve been fortunate to have had the encouragement and support of my parents who helped me to associate reading with fun. I have fond memories of going to the library with my mom who had a radical idea—she let me pick whatever book I wanted to read. I read lots of books and magazines that made me laugh out loud, which led me to discover many other books in different genres. Reading without judgment was a turning point in my life and that is what made me a lifelong reader. Over the years I’ve had the privilege to have met many committed librarians whose passion and dedication to literacy is life changing. I’m honored to be this year’s AASL ambassador for school libraries and an advocate for everything they do to make the world a better place.

Das Pilkey is no stranger to censorship, his Captain Underpants series snagged the #3 spot on this year’s Top 11 Most Frequently Challenged and Banned Books. Captain Underpants has the unique distinction of both having the series as a whole challenged numerously, as well as one volume in particular ( Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot), challenged for the inclusion of a same-sex couple.