June Eureka Moments

All set for Annual? For this month’s Eureka Moments, I tried to tie some research and news to some of the sessions you might want to attend at the conference. And if you’re not able to attend, I hope these items will allow you to participate from afar and to still feel up to date on what’s happening.

  • A 2010 case study in The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy concluded that “educators cannot expect students to separate their identities from literacy practices” through interviews and observations with two gay teens. The researcher noted how a multigenre research project, rather than the more traditional paper, allowed the teens to explore themselves more fully and integrate their academic study of history and literature with their sexual orientation. The article ends with the researcher imploring schools and educators to become more sensitive to LGBTQ issues and to explore ways to allow students identifying in the spectrum to feel included in traditional classroom topics and texts and to respectfully invite all students to participate together.
    Vetter, A.M. (2010). “‘Cause I’m a G”: Identity Work of a Lesbian Teen in Language Arts. The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(2), 98-108.
    Related session: Stonewall Awards Presentation, Monday 10:30am’  Continue reading

App of the Week: Manga Camera


Title: MangaCamera
Platform: iOS
Cost: Free

Purists may scoff at a point-and-click way to ape the Japanese art form, but this free app makes rendering black-and-white scenes with drama and romance nearly foolproof. The app includes thirty-two backgrounds, most of them with manga-style captions or actions suggested, taking your photo to entirely new places.


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Manga Aggregation, Copyright and your Library

A few weeks ago, Erin Daly mentioned Scanalations in her excellent article about the new manga apps from Viz and Yen Press. Below is the definition she linked to on “No Flying, No tights.”

Scanalation – In this age of internet file-sharing, one of the most important fan activities surrounding Japanese manga (or Korean manhwa or Chinese manhua) is a process called scanlation. Fans get physical copies of titles in their original language, scan in the pages, translate the text into the language they need (for us, English), and then post the results on the internet for fans to read. Scanlation is the term coined for this process, and it usually involves a number of fans working on different aspects. Officially, this is illegal under international copyright law. At this point, publishers have not attacked individuals fans or those downloading and reading the posted scanlations, but there have been some skirmishes from groups. Many groups have a kind of honor code — they will only publish scanlations of titles not yet available where they are (i.e. in the US), and once that titles becomes available, they will take their scanlations down. However, there are many sites that continue to publish series after they’ve been licensed for US distribution, and if you work with teenagers, you should know that many of them read their favorite series online, direct from Japan. For a similar process for anime, see fansubs.

Scanalations are important to teen librarians because they technically violate copyright, and there is a good chance that you are teens are viewing them on the library computers. I know they view them on ours. We are working on how to address the issue now, but it is a complicated problem.

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App of the Week: Viz Manga & Yen Press

I’ve been trying to read more manga lately.’  Manga in book form is very popular at my library, so I have been working on building up’ our print collection. My anime club kids are always telling me about new titles. There is also a lot of manga to be read electronically. Reading scanlated manga online has been a longtime habit of many fans, regardless of the copyright issues involved, (scroll down on this page for a good definition of scanlation) but more manga is becoming available electronically either for free or for reasonable prices.’  It will ‘ be nice if this encourages more fans to pay for content and support the creators whose work they enjoy. Even if it doesn’t, it does afford more options for consuming content for people who enjoy reading on their mobile devices. Viz Media and Yen Press, are two popular publishers making manga available via mobile app.’  I decided to check out how these apps work and compare and contrast their features. Continue reading

Trading Spaces: Visiting Each Other’s Libraries

Gretchen came up with the idea of visiting Erin when we found out that our libraries (in southern Connecticut and southwestern Massachusetts respectively) are not terribly far from one another. We were looking for a cultural exchange: to see what was new and exciting in each other’s libraries and teen programs. It’s also just fun to meet Internet friends in real life. (Thanks for introducing us, YALSA and Twitter!) Here’s what we found.

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When I Get Bored, I Write Essays.

I, Otaku: Inside The New American Geekdom

“You’re just a manga artist, discharging evil into society! How dare you live in a place with a roof?!”

– Excel, Excel Saga

Index

‘·Introduction: Social Studies of a Different Sort<

‘·Otaku: Who Are They, and Why Are They Dangerous?

‘·Types of Otaku: A By-No-Means-Definitive Field Guide

‘·Q&A: Common Misconceptions About Otaku, Manga, and Fandom in General

‘·Serving Otaku: What Can You, As a Librarian, Do?

‘·Otaku-Dom: Is There Anything Really Wrong With It?

‘·Appendices

– Appendix A: Anime Every Library Needs (Seriously)

– Appendix B: Wait, Where’s This Go?

Introduction: Social Studies of a Different Sort

So I heard this great joke today: two girls walk into a library. One points at the manga section and says “That’s all pornography.”

… Yeah. I don’t get it either.

Apparently I’m supposed to find this funny. And I do, in a sort of sarcastic way. I mean, the plight of the average American otaku is rather humorous, struggling to be understood in a world that would rather have us impressionable American teens obsessing over the Jonas Brothers or the latest Hilary Duff flick. It’s more socially acceptable, after all, to indulge in these entirely mainstream things, is it not? Continue reading

Where are All the Good Female Characters Hiding? Are They Under My Bed or Something?

I often find it annoying that, while I’m searching for manga at the library, I overhear other patrons talking about just how awesome and thing-I-am-not-allowed-to-say-in-polite-company-kicking their favorite male characters are. As a girl otaku (manga and anime fan, for the uninitiated) I find this rather disappointing. Now, I’m not saying that male characters are bad (you won’t find a huger Edward Elric fan in all of Pittsburgh than me. Well, probably) but where’s the gender equality? Way back in the early days of manga, Osamu Tezuka (yes, THAT Tezuka, the one they call the God of Manga?!) revolutionized the hero archetype with his comic Pricess Knight, featuring a heroine who could handle a sword just as well as any man. Where’s that spirit in today’s comics, I ask? Continue reading

Anime and manga on teen second life

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Library student Rachel Thompson (Memetic Autopoiesis avatar name) created this anime/manga exhibit on the adult grid in second life. When your avatar touches a book or movie cover, they will be able to read the information that Rachel researched about the materials. There is also a comment box in the room with which to respond. What a great way to start an assignment or conversation about anime/manga in an immersive environment such as second life!

Rachel is also on the teen grid where she is organizing a revolving art exhibit for art created by teens in an art gallery that was built by a teen. Any art piece that fits in with the anime and manga theme will be displayed on a rotating basis, depending on the number of submissions received. The art display is open to all young adults regardless of whether they are part of the second life experience or not. Anime / manga clubs at libraries might be a great place to pass the word out if teens want to contribute. Libraries can either scan in the art work or submit computer generated artwork to the art exhibit at eye4youalliance@gmail.com.

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Posted by Kelly Czarnecki