Manga Tops Annual Graphic-Novels-in-Libraries Survey
The manga boom is centered on libraries, with high popularity and circulation.
Industry periodicals Library Journal and School Library Journal have released their annual Graphic Novels In Libraries Survey, and the results show that manga tops the charts in popularity with teen library readers. The survey, sponsored by Kodansha USA Publishing, covers the wide range of graphic novels finding a home in both school and public libraries across the United States, for every age and demographic.
According to the survey, more than 90% of public libraries and high school libraries are stocking manga currently, and across all demographics 64% of library workers responding identify manga as the most popular graphic novel category for teen readers, higher than any other category. That number jumps to more than 80% when looking at the popularity of manga in urban and suburban libraries, versus small towns and rural locations.
“We’ve seen tremendous uptake in our titles for schools and public libraries, and those numbers are growing all the time,” says Alvin Lu, Kodansha USA Publishing President & CEO. “Titles like soccer manga Blue Lock, viking history manga Vinland Saga, or the classic girls’ hero title Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon are loved by readers of all ages, and we’re proud to make those titles available in various formats for our library partners.”
The survey points to good news for the entire graphic novel publishing industry, with 97% of respondents stating that they had some comics and graphic novels in their collections, and different libraries and age categories finding different types of titles more popular for their audiences. More than 90% of survey respondents said that the popularity of all graphic novels had increased over the last few years in their libraries, with 57% saying that it had been a significant increase in popularity.
Perhaps the most interesting data though, is centered on reading fluency. Ninety percent of public librarians and 83 percent of school librarians recommend graphic novels to users in their library who are “striving readers”, and to promote overall reading fluency. Graphic novels and manga remain strong choices not just for existing fans of the media, but also for those who might otherwise be disinterested in reading or having a hard time doing so.
The complete SLJ 2023 Graphic Novels Survey Report is now available here.