ALIA Graphic Novels and Comics is intended to be a resource and network for library and information professionals who are responsible for, and interested in, comics and graphic novels.
Purpose and Goals
• To promote comics and graphic novels to libraries, allied institutions and professionals within the GLAMR sector, with a particular focus on Australian titles and creators
• To collate new graphic novels releases and publish a monthly roundup of recommended titles for libraries
• The creation and sharing of news and resources related to graphic novels in libraries
• To provide networking and PD opportunities for library staff
• Develop and carry out advocacy around comics as a medium, including educational, literacy, and engagement benefits
• To connect and build bridges with Australian creators and graphic novels publishers
• To establish a relationship of mutual benefit with the Ledger Awards (the awards for excellence in Australian comics)
Connect to Us
Meet the Team
Iurgi Urrutia (Convenor)
An Information Services Librarian for Kingston Libraries, Victoria. My favourite part of the job is in collection management and the acquisition of graphic novels. I have a background in education and media studies, so I love to get involved in supporting the children and youth services team and teaching the dark alchemy of IT to patrons.
I eat books for breakfast and munch on comics and graphic novels for the rest of the day. I’ve also been known to write fiction and poetry in the dead of night. I believe that comics have multiple literacy super powers and that comic book readers read more than fiction readers. Thankfully, research backs up my belief.
Sarah-Jane Lang (Treasurer & Social Media Coordinator)
I am an online student completing a Certificate IV Library & Information Services at North Metropolitan TAFE Western Australia. I am a library user, supporter and volunteer. Reading is a serious leisure activity for me and I like spending my time reading Junior and Young Adult graphic novels. I believe that they are such an important genre and hope to engage with and encourage their use in educational and library settings.
James Baker (Secretary & Collections and Resources Coordinator)
I’m a librarian at the Melbourne Athenaeum Library, Victoria’s oldest library, where I handle the cataloguing, website, social media, and graphic novels acquisitions. I also teach in the Library Technician course at VU Polytechnic at both Certificate IV and Diploma level.
I enjoyed comics in my childhood, but this interest was strongly discouraged throughout high school and university so I have returned to graphic novels in adulthood with both nostalgia and fresh wonder at the form, as well as a determination to ensure that other teens and adults aren't made to feel embarrassed for their interest in graphic literature.
Gabby Cundy (Social Media Coordinator)
Situated in Western Sydney, I’ve worked as a library technician for the past several years. Working within a school environment, I’ve developed a love of Children’s and YA literature, reading as many books as I can each week. I’m completing a Bachelor of Information Studies (Librarianship) and will follow by completing a Masters in Children’s literature.
My passion for books has steadily grown over the years and I can always be found with a book close by; the majority of those being new release YA novels and graphic novels. Helping children and teenagers find a book that they fall in love with is what I want to do for the rest of my career. Making connections through books and instilling the love of literature so they become lifelong readers brings no greater feeling…even better than the feeling that the first coffee of the day brings!
Melody Beier (Content Coordinator)
I am a Library Technician employed in a Library Officer role at Cockburn Libraries in Western Australia. I have been involved in a huge range of library activities from Pram Jams for babies to Tech Help for seniors and everything in between. I currently run regular STEAM Clubs for youths and occasionally adults, Storytime sessions and Minecraft clubs.
I started reading graphic novels and comics as a child with Archie Comics, Footrot flats, Garfield and more and I have always had an appreciation for the medium. As an adult, I am a total pop culture geek and love following all things movie, comics, tv and gaming. I strongly believe that comics are an excellent way to encourage reluctant readers and are a great way to develop imagination. Let’s face it, with all of the tv and movie adaptations happening lately – graphic novels are so hot right now!
Jade Smith (Content Coordinator)
I am a passionate library advocate working across public library and school library settings in Sydney. I enjoy working with children, young people and their families through collaborative Readers’ Advisory services to find books and resources that are aligned with their interests and I am always available to chat about books. I am currently undertaking my Master of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University and have been lucky enough to win the 2020 Jean Arnot Memorial Fellowship for my paper 'Information in Crisis: Analysing the Future Roles of Public Libraries During and Post-COVID-19'.
I always carry a book (or few) with me wherever I go and I believe in the power of graphic novels and comics in opening literacy gateways to empower people of all ages to read and learn.
Tara Eagleton (Collections and Resources Coordinator)
I am the Library Services Collections Officer at Wollondilly Library, NSW. I process all physical acquisitions and manage the adult fiction collection including the graphic novels. I entered the comics world as an adult horror reader attracted to the amazing artwork and storylines of horror graphic novels and have since discovered fantastic creative works in many genres.
I believe libraries are well placed to provide advocacy for graphic novels. Promoting the collection to adult readers unfamiliar with the format can offer a new dimension to their reading experience. It’s not all superheroes and there is certainly something for everyone.