Monday, March 13, 2017

Remember to use your library, comic book readers

I can't stress enough to my fellow comic book collectors how much of an asset your local library is. 

The Norwalk Public Library in downtown Norwalk
Let's say you're interested in a recent run of comic books or titles starring your favorite superhero or written by someone getting critically favorable reviews. There's a good chance your library has a trade paperback in its collection or can get it through an interlibrary loan.

The Norwalk, Huron and Sandusky, Ohio public libraries are part of the CLEVNET Library Consortium. That means patrons can borrow books from nearly three-dozen Northern Ohio libraries if they have a card from just one of them.

And guess what?! There's a good chance your library is part of a similar network!

The most beautiful part of using your library to check out trades (or in some cases, individual issues) is no money has to change hands as long as you pay attention to the due date. And don't forget you can use libraries to check out very recent movies on DVD and Blu-ray! Just bring everything back.

I often tell customers when they come to the Phat Daddy's Comics booth during comic book conventions they need to consider using their libraries to find trades. Heck, I probably do that once a con! At least.

Trust me; I'm trying to sell classic comics offered by my buddy Jamie Stewart, but I'm not above dishing out advice and preaching the gospel of using libraries to anybody looking to get into comic books or expand their reading. I'm trying to give them an easy (and free!) resource and place to start.

The young adult collection at the Norwalk Public Library has an impressive amount of trade paperbacks -- the biggest collection I've seen. There are six shelves of trades and all of them are half-full or more. The collection boasts Marvel and DC trades and graphics -- in paperback and hardcover -- and even some from Dark Horse and Image. Great stuff for we local fans and nerds!

Many of the trade-paperback reviews you read here on Cary's Comics Craze are ones I've checked out from there. You'll find them whenever you see the tag labeled "retro-review."

(FYI Those tags/labels are at the bottom of each post, whether it's on the preview as seen on the main CCC pages as you scroll through or on the post itself. Those tags -- similar to the ones used on social media -- essentially are mini-search engines. In this case, clicking on any of the CCC tags take you to a page with all the posts in which I've used it. For example, you can find out every time I've mentioned "Norwalk Public Library" significantly by clicking on that tag at the end of this post. 

So use those tags! Who knows, you might find something "Squatchy" that happened in Norwalk or read about the 2015 "Star Wars Reads" Day there. And I'm so helpful I provided hyperlinks; see, I really am your neighborhood-friendly fanboy blogger -- as advertised!)

Anyway, back to being a fanboy advocate for libraries...

The Huron Public Library doesn't have as many trades as Norwalk and neither does the Sandusky Public Library.

However, Sandusky has two piles of individual comics (mostly DC, Marvel and some Archie) in the children's section near the videos. (Or at least that's where they were when I lived in a nearby township and used to use that library. Keep in mind most of this post comes from a CCC column posted on an older version of the NORWALK REFLECTOR website, which I found during a recent Google search. I've tweaked that column and expanded it for this post.)

In the last couple weeks I have gotten a card for the Huron County Community Library, which gives me access to four connected libraries. Since I've read most of the trades that have been on the shelves at Norwalk for years, I wanted to start branching out to find more to read.

Heidi Sutter
CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
file photo
Much like the Sandusky and Huron libraries, the branches of the Huron County Community Library contain a, let's say, modest collection of trades. But again, it's free access to stories I haven't read yet -- and that's a beautiful thing.

Most recently I have posted retro-reviews of trades I've checked out from that library system. Those retro-reviews feature a "biography" of The Flash (Barry Allen) as written by his wife and two trades featuring the Justice League of America and Young Justice. Look for ones about a X-Men trade and a graphic novel by Paul Dini soon.

And before you start thinking Norwalk Public Library Director, Heidi Sutter paid me under the table to write this column, think again; I've been a major advocate of libraries for as long as I can remember.

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