Got back last night from a great trip to the US where I spoke about graphic novels to a group of librarians from various schools in the Genesee Valley area of New York State. It was all part of their Library Devolopment Day, organized by the Genesee Valley BOCES.
Seventy five librarians from as many schools gathered for the one day event to connect and discuss reading and literacy. The day kicked off with a in-depth discussion on reading from Dr. Naomi Erdmann, a professor in the Department of Education at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, and the Director of Graduate Literacy Programs.
After a short break, I came on to discuss my work as a graphic novel writer and the ways comics and graphic novels can promote literacy to get reluctant readers hooked on books. The talk went really well and seconds after I finished, conference organizer Christopher Harris came up to me and said: “Great talk. It’s already online.” Turns out that Chris was live-blogging my presentation, which is a first for me and very, very cool.
After my presentation, I had a chance sign some books and talk with the librarians about graphic novels. Like most writers, I always enjoy meeting with librarians and teachers because I know I am around friends who share the same vision that reading and literacy are the key foundations in all aspects of education.
It was a great day and I hope my talk helped a few librarians see the value of graphic novels as tools for building literacy in young readers. Thanks to Christopher and Donna for organizing the event and for making everything go smoothly. I look forward to having the chance to visit the Genesee Valley area again soon and I’m hopeful that a few new young minds will soon be hooked on books thanks to a little help from graphic novels.