9/10/2010

A Truth to Change the World, or Why librarians' dance in the rain.

No I did not find Jesus. (Mostly because I don't think he was lost to begin with.)
And No; I was not visited by the same demented visions that make David Icke put pen to paper either.(Though why anyone buys his books is beyond me. But lest not I be the one to throw stones at the weirdo.)
No.
This revelation was revealed to me by none other than a bunch of Canadians who till now have been unrepentant about Bryan Adams, but have now made good by revealing to the world that:

Comics are good for you.

Specifically. Comics are good for adolescent boys at an elementary school level all the way up, according to THIS STUDY.

Please lets take a moment while I do the Dance of Joy.

The dance of Joy is not Copyrighted. Calvin is.


Look,  this study is not exactly new.
Studies about the effects of comics on young squishy minds have been around since the 70's. However, most of the evidence processed through these studies have been anecdotal and the conclusions drawn from  said evidence can barely sustain the big "I TOLD YOU SO!" that every comic book reader can now proudly berate you with.
But with this study and its WONDERFUL conclusion, comes a new sense of purpose for those of us that have been wanting to use comics in the war against illiteracy, functional literacy and atrocious comprehension. (I think we're called librarians, we might be called teachers but our hours run later than 3 in the afternoon.)

Long have librarians of a certain generation, felt terribly guilty about recommending comics of any sort to kids and teenagers. And its not there fault. The sentiment of the time (early Cretaceous) was that comics was bad and would only lead to the dumbing down of kids who read them. And in the absence of any positive information about comics, the stereotype became the truth and painted our world with a pooh-pooh attitude to  sequential art. 

Pooh, Pooh. I say!

But this study brings a Brave New World that has comics leading the way.
No pooh-poohing!
In the developing world EVERY study that helps literacy is a weapon in an  arsenal that can draw funding for literacy projects.
Come with me, if you want to read.



Now of course comes the next important step, putting this information to use.
Creating those grant requests to stock our libraries to the brim with comics, and hoping that whoever decides to help out sees things they way we see it. 

Mine Eyes have seen the coming of the comics.

Lets hope that we librarians  can speak with the same passion about comics that we reserve for other works in 'traditional' media, because if we don't believe in the wisdom of our own teaching and the lessons we've learnt (especially from this study)  I fear the tasks ahead are going to be as daunting as trying to convince people that comics are indeed good for you. 

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