MLA Poster Presentation

The deadline for MLA poster session applications was earlier than the response date for ALA, since only 40some% of the applications to ALA are accepted I figured I should apply to MLA too…you know, just in case! LOL

I got accepted to both!! Hooray! I was however afraid that MLA wouldn’t want me if I told them I was presenting at ALA earlier in the year, but they did! They said no big deal because most people who could make it all the way to San Francisco in June wouldn’t also be coming to Novi in October.

The poster size was half as large for MLA though so it meant that I had to make a new one! Luckily, I was able to reuse some of my images from the first one but I had to create some new images to consolidate the info from several images into one.

The registration for this conference was quite expensive though I since I had already used my professional development budget for the year in going to San Francisco I couldn’t afford to actually attend the sessions at MLA 😦

I did meet and talk to many interesting librarians from around the state and was even approached by a publisher who publishes reviews of independently published books. (Wow how many times can I use “publish” in one sentence?!) He asked if I would be interested in reviewing some manga for their magazine! Yippee! More writing opportunities in my future!!



Strategic Library Article

While at ALA San Francisco #alaac15, I was approached by the publisher of Strategic Library and asked if I would be interested in writing an article for her journal! The journal is available in electronic version only and is aimed at directors and other decision makers in all types of libraries. They publish articles to help people in positions of power within libraries keep on top of current trends in the field so that they can make strategic plans which will keep their libraries relevant. She thought that having a robust manga collection was one of those things libraries need to know about to stay relevant!!! How exciting!!

Needless to say I was very excited to be asked to publish my first professional academic journal article!!!!!

They were very easy to work with and did a nice job with using my images and creating an attractive layout design of my pages. After just a few back and forth emails I had a final edit ready for publication. I was all set to go in the August 2015 edition but they decided that my article was better suited to the September edition… was fine with me because I figured it would be even more widely read!!!

So here it is… my much awaited first journal article! (pages 5-8)

SLcover image  Strategic Library

As always if you find anything here of academic use to you, please properly attribute and cite it:

Seipke, A. (2015, September 15) Manga Comes to the Library. Strategic Library, 20, 5-8. Web.


Thanks All!

Zines in the Library!

American Library Association (ALA) Conference, San Francisco

I attended the ALA annual conference in San Francisco this year because I was invited to present a poster session (Which you can see more about in my Previous Blog Post.) This organization is the largest organization of librarians in the world and the annual conference is considered to be one of the best attended professional conferences of any profession. In my acceptance letter I was informed that only 44% of people proposing a session were accepted so I consider this a huge honor.

In addition to the great opportunity this was for me professionally and for the school as a whole to be represented in this international spotlight, I was able to take advantage of the trip to San Francisco and attend the rest of the conference to gain new insights, learn about new trends, and meet many colleagues who will be helpful resources in my career.

Pre-conference session “Zines in Libraries: Collecting, Cataloging, and Community” Friday 6/26/15:

While many pre-conference session are quite pricey the one I selected on “Zines in Libraries: Collecting, Cataloging, and Community”, was very low priced at only $15. Presented by a panel of librarians involved in zine collecting, his half-day long session explored what zines are, how, and why we should have them in our library collections.

Zines are a form of independently created expression. They often take the form of a magazine that is printed on a home printer or photocopied on a standard copier so that they can be cheaply produced and distributed as widely as possible. They are an important part of a library collection, especially a library which supports an art school, because they allow for voices to be heard which are outside the “main stream” of professional publication. They give an outlet to people who are sometimes not heard. They can be used to distribute information, in an authentic way, to members of a community because they are being created by members of that same community.

The creation of zines can be seen as an art form of its own. They are different from internet blogs because of the physicality of the medium and can be another medium for expressing what the authors wish to express. They can also be used to help in the synthesis of information as a way of taking some knowledge or a story and manipulating it to create something new and demonstrate knowledge and a deep understanding of the concepts themselves. Some of the other attendees were teachers or museum professionals who have their students create zines as a part of their field trip experiences or as a way of retelling a topic they learned about in class.

Since zines are such a grassroots medium most cities have a zine culture and can therefore libraries collecting zines can help to enlarge their relevance to the citizens if their city. They are a great, and inexpensive, way of supporting local writers and artists and making the library unique and reflective of its area.

In this session I also learned about sourcing zines and how we can find them to buy. One of the best ways to purchase zines is directly through the artists at places like zine fairs which there are many of throughout the world, which can be found by searching the internet and sites such as and the website of the Independent Publishing Resource Center.

Zines can also be purchased through distributors that specialize in zines, these are called “distros”. A few of the most popular distros are Quimby’s in Chicago, Atomic Books in Baltimore, BrownRecluse in Seattle, Division Leap found at,and Stranger Danger in Chicago, all of whom are helpful and willing to work with libraries. Local zines can also sometimes be found at local stores selling local or handmade goods especially small music or bookstores.

There are also other resources I learned about for librarians with zine collections, the most robust being the Zine Librarians unConfernce. There are also magazines and blogs dedicated to reviewing zines such as Broken Pencil Magazine as well as sessions at major conferences where zines are reviewed such as the session that was held Sunday called Lightening Zine: Super Short Reviews for Zinesters and the Zine Curious.

When it comes to shelving and cataloging the zines there are many resources that can be helpful for the librarian. One helpful resource is WikiZine where librarians can work together and borrow each other’s summaries of the material so that the cataloger does not have to read each one in order to write their own description. Another helpful tidbit I picked up from the conversation that was happening is that sheet music folders are a great way to store zines so they can be shelved with the rest of the library collection.

There was also a lively debate which seemed to echo the wider zine world, about whether or not zines should be circulated or preserved for the future. Some points for circulation were: the purpose of zines is to be widely read and circulated as much as possible; they are current and topical, the contend is time sensitive; they make great library marketing if they go out into the community; allowing them to be ephemeral makes them much less expensive over their life. Some of the arguments against circulation them is that they will most certainly get damaged; they may provide a wonderful primary source record for the future; if they stay at the library they may actually be able to reach more readers over their life; if they don’t circulate they may not need to be cataloged.

This session included a workbook that set up like a zine and included in the back pages lists of very helpful resources for librarians looking into collection zines for their library.

CAM04889 CAM04891CAM04890 CAM04892  CAM04893



Zine Pavilion: Sunday 6/28/15

After learning about what zines are and how to us them in the library I visited the Zine Pavilion to see what materials I could find to take back to CCS for inclusion in our collection. The Zine Pavilion was an area of the exhibit hall where zinesters had set up almost like an artists’ alley at a comic book show. They were at individual tables with their creations set up and for sale. I was able to speak with many of them and many of them gave me copies of their work to include in our collection here at the College. Some others which seemed to be exceptionally relevant to us I purchased from them.


Presentation at ALA Annual Conference 2015

So if you have noticed an increase in blogging activity lately it is related to the fact that I was accepted as a poster session presenter at the American Libraries Association Conference this year!! As I was working on my poster, I found that I had so much to say on each of the topics I wanted to cover that I was compelled to write it all here in order to keep my poster looking visually appealing and easy to read!

I feel that the presentation went very well and I see that it generated a bunch of new traffic here too! (It is nice to see you all, my librarian friends) I was also approached and invited to submit an article to a professional journal on this subject!! : -) I will post more about that too when I get farther along.

Here is a copy of the poster which I presented so you can all see all the topics I covered. If you have any questions about how to manage the manga in your collection, how to increase your manga collection, or anything else I might be able to help with, please comment below or send me an email! If you find any errors or misconceptions in anything you hear from me please comment below or send me an email! If you have anything you would like to share with me or my readers please comment below or send me an email! If you just want me to feel like I am not talking to thin air, please comment below or send me an email!! : -)

ALA poster

Manga in the Library: PN 6790 .J34


Our library is especially interested in collecting manga because, as an art school, a large portion of the students at our school are visual learners. Also the manga version of a story can often be read much quicker than the full text version allowing our students to absorb the information with less of a time commitment.

We use LOC numbers so most of our manga collection (all except the non-fiction which are shelved in the proper subject areas) begins with PN6790 .J34 “Language and Literature àGeneral Literature àcomic books, strips, etc. à Japan

This leads to the PN 6790 .J34 section taking up about 75 linear feet of our shelving which makes a nightmare for our shelving assistants!

As our collection has grown we have had to adapt our usual process of assigning call numbers to meet new challenges. While normally, if required, we add a second Cutter number based on the authors name then the year of publication we found this to cause problems with our manga collection because one author might be writing several series simultaneously which would result in them being inter-shelved or a series might be written by different manga-ka over the years it is published causing the series to be spread out over a large area and not all shelved together. For this reason we chose to use the title of the series (or monograph) as the basis for the second Cutter number. We follow that second Cutter by the volume number because there are often numerous volumes published in a given year. On occasion the titles have been so similar as to require us to add a third Cutter number based on the authors name as well to avoid having two books with identical call numbers. This leads to some very long call numbers! We have been considering shelving our manga in a separate section of the library so that we could drop the PN 6790 .J34 from the local call numbers and use a local call number that begins with the word “Manga” followed by numbers representing the title.

long call

Another logistical issue we are facing with our collection is some of our students who are very familiar with manga expect to see them shelved from right to left the way they would be in Japan. However, this does not seem to cause more than a moment of confusion and all the libraries I have seen with browsing collections of manga have them shelved left to right as would be fitting with the rest of their collections. I think that if we do move them to their own section we might try to organize them right to left but I feel this may cause problems for our shelvers.

To Import or Not to Import??

Which of the massive number of titles released in Japan will have a large enough following in the U.S. to make it worth the publishers’ time and money to obtain rights and translate?!


One way is through “Scanlation” pages.

“Scanlation” pages have arisen, often run by groups of fans, as a place to not only discuss and recommend their favorite titles but also as a way of providing access to those titles, in English, to their fellow fans. These fan driven sites allow individuals to work together scanning and translating their favorite manga so that it can be enjoyed by other people who would not be able to read it in the original Japanese. Individual issues are usually available for download for a very small fee or even for free.

These sites are beneficial for fans because:

They provide access to the newest manga, in English, for a very small fee or even for free

Fan run sites lead to a sense of community and authenticity in the reviews and suggestions


Instead of being persecuted for breaking copyright laws, many of these sites have developed a symbiotic relationship with both the Japanese and U.S. publishers. It helps the Japanese publishers because it increases the number of readers who can become fans of their series and it works well for the American publishers because it helps them to determine which series have the potential fan base to make it worth their efforts to translate and publish series in the U.S.

“Scanlation” pages can help publishers to determine which of the massive number of titles released in Japan they should obtain rights for and translate.

They can also be considered helpful by the manga-ka themselves as a way to get insight into the minds of their fans and see what aspects are working or not working so they can (if they want to) cater more to the desires of their fan base.


In order to continue the amicable relationship they have with publishers “scanlation” sites usually remove issues once a series has been licensed by an English publisher.



Manga is a Medium, Not a Genre

In the course of my study of manga I learned many new terms. In my previous post I gave definitions for some of the Japanese words and manga terms which I encountered at the beginning of my research but here I would like to add the terms I encountered later to make a complete list of all the genres I learned about within the medium of manga.

Because of the focus on the audience and the characters in manga it is most useful to organize titles this way as well instead of focusing on the content of the story as we tend to do in Western literature.

In my annotated bibliography you will see that the first level of organization is the audience. The four most common categories for speaking about the intended audience are:

Shonen – Boy’s Manga

Shojo – Girl’s Manga

Sienen – Men’s Manga

Josei – Women’s Manga

There is also a category for young children where their youth not their gender is the focus; the term used for that is “Kodomomuke”.

The category of sexually explicit material for adults only is called “Seijin”. Within the Seijin category is “Hentai” which refers to materials which are not only explicit but also include specialized or bizarre fetishes.

genres of Manga

Popular Genres in Manga

Within the main audience groupings, manga is then divided by the topic. Of course, some topics tend to be more popular with certain reader groups than others but there does not seem to be much stigma resulting from reading manga “intended” for an audience other than that which the reader is a part.

Some of the most popular topics are:

Mecha –Robots: Robots, cyborgs, or machines play a large role in these stories.

Komono – Animals: The characters in these stories are anthropomorphized animals.

Kaito – Gentleman Thief: Stories about a well-breed thief, one who steals for the thrill or just to take away from the undeserving. Maurice LeBlanc’s Arsene Lupin is a model for many of these stories.

Haremumono – Harem: These aren’t always a sexual or even a romantic storyline, it just indicates that the central character is male surrounded by multiple, less important female characters.

Gyakuharemu – Reverse harem: Like Haremumono, only the main character is female and the subordinate characters are males.

Ecchi – Naughty: Stories involve a bit more sexualization then strictly needed for the plot line, but not so much as to be deemed inappropriate for kids. Think PG-13.

Ansatsuken or Satsujinken – Assassination Fist or Murder Fist: These are martial art manga, in which the main characters have (or learn) superior martial art skills to defeat their opponents.

Science Fiction


Fantasy and Adventure


Ryori – Food

Mahou Shojo – Magical girl


Sararimman – Salaryman: Stories about the lives of men who work in offices outside their homes.

Bara – homosexual men: These stories are also called “Men’s Love”, “ML”, “Shonen-ai”, or “Gei Comi”. They range from slice-of-life stories, to romances but sometimes includes blatant depictions of sexual acts.

Historical Fiction


Kyariauman – Career Woman: Stories depict the lives of women who have careers outside of their homes.

OLOffice Lady Manga: is about the lives of young women who work outside their homes, but plan to do so only until they have their own family.

Yaoi – Men who love other men: Usually these are romantic stories written by women, for women.

Yuri – Girl Love: Also termed “Shojo-ai”. These stories are about girls who have strong feelings for other girls. Usually these are more romantic than overtly sexual stories.

Mystery, Horror, Suspense


Manga Vs. Anime

Many people confuse Anime with Manga which is understandable since they are visually very similar, both art forms are from Japan (often presented in the Japanese language even), they even often feature the same characters and titles!!

The major difference is easy to remember though…Anime is animated! It moves!

There are often other differences that can be seen too even when the same characters or even the same titles are converted from the static printed manga form into the dynamic moving anime form (which is usually the order of production, though sometimes an original anime series may be made into printed manga after the fact.)

Because Anime usually involves the efforts of a whole team of creators, there are inevitably creative compromises which take place in the story line. This can cause the plot to take very different turns from what happened to the characters in the original version (manga version) of the story. Manga on the other hand is often created by only a pair or even one lone “manga-ka”. This usually results in the creators becoming more attached to the characters because they have spent a long time and much energy creating and directing them. Manga often follows a less risky plot line because the creators (and hopefully the readers) become so much more invested in the lives of the characters in the relatively few series they read than a production team (and the TV viewers) do in one of the many shows they are involved with.

The quality of the art work is often different as well. Anime is drawn to be shown at 24 frames per second whereas manga is drawn to have each and every picture static on the page to be examined by the reader for as long as they like. While many of us see the 24 frames per second of anime as slow and the picture a bit choppier than we are used to seeing on TV, it is still going by much quicker than the images on the page in a printed manga book and can therefore be of lower quality or less detailed.

anime vs manga

Saliormoon anime vs manga

Because there are so many frames required for each anime episode and the production schedules are often very tight in order to get them on the air quickly before the demand passes, there are often glaring errors in the frames which are simply left in rather than spending the time and effort to fix them. Other “tricks” are used by the artists drawing the anime frames to give them the desired appearance when played together but which make them look wrong when viewed alone or out of sequence. Through time this has actually become part of the quirky appeal of anime and for some viewers is considered integral to the style so that many shows are still made to look this way even though through technology they no longer need to be.

This image shows a technique used in anime called “blur” used to show fast movement.

DragonBall Z smear

This image shows a technique called “multiples” which is also used to show very fast movement in anime.

Lupin III multiples

So Now What?!

So now that this bibliography is finally done, what do I do next? So glad you asked!

I am currently working on writing short summaries for another bibliography on graphic novels that I also did as part of the grant that got me started on this project. I will post those here as well when I get them finished to my satisfaction. It has just a sampling of the many different genres which are covered by graphic novels in general (mostly ones written in the U.S. and some from Canada).

In addition to that, I am working on filling out our manga collection here at the College for Creative Studies library. We have a fairly extensive collection for a library our size but currently it focuses mostly on the shonen audience and I am working on increasing our holdings in the other areas as well especially in the female audience groups and the nonfiction subject areas. I think the nonfiction manga will be well received here because many of our students are not native English speakers making visual information easier for them to digest and being an art school most of our students have a visual learning style meaning they are not served as well by thick tomes as they will be by the visual nature of graphic literature.

Towards that end I have gone through the bibliography that I shared here in December and found the books which we have already in our collection and marked them with an asterisk on the version of the manga bibliography  which is posted on our library webpage.

I am now going through it again and ordering as many of the manga titles as I can readily find (at less than outrageous prices) I just placed a second order for 40 new manga volumes! We’d love to have you follow us on Facebook Facebook or TwitterTwitter if you’d like to keep up to date on all the new arrivals as they come in!

Once all of our new volumes arrive I will have my hands full for a while cataloging them and entering them into our circulation system. This takes even longer than it would with ordinary books because I am finding many of these titles are not held at other libraries so I have to make the detailed records myself from scratch. (Most libraries are part of a cataloging cooperative, called OCLC, where a librarian at one library will make a very though and detailed record about all of the particulars of a book and the other libraries can just copy the record when they get that book in too so that we aren’t all doing the same work over and over!!! The detailed records are what allows your friendly librarian to find books for you when all you give us is some mundane detail, “um the cover was blue and it was about a dog. I read it when I was in elementary school.” And because we share these records you can search one place for a particular book and see all the libraries in the whole world who have it )

Lastly, in relation to this project anyway, I am working up proposals to present the information I learned at library conferences. I just turned in a proposal to do a poster session at the American Library Association’s big huge national conference in San Francisco this summer. While I wait to hear back from them, I have started working on creating the presentation, in the hopes that even if they won’t have me somebody will! In putting my presentation together I realized that I am very bad a Photoshop so I have also started taking online technology classes through which CCS has a subscription to (but you can still take some of their classes for free even without a subscription. And you should cause they are good!)