The first graphic novels I read were ones I got at my local library or through interlibrary loan. They were free to check out, so I figured I would give them a chance. I already enjoyed several superhero television programs, so it seemed like a natural thing to do. Needless to say – given that I have a comics blog – I got hooked.
Libraries are an excellent place to look for graphic novels to read. If you’re very lucky, your local library will have graphic novels set aside in their own section, but most don’t. The graphic novels will be shelved with everything else and you might not realize they even exist unless you look for them. Here are the two different places you might find graphic novels at your local library.
741.5: This is the Dewey Decimal classification for graphic novels. Dewey Decimal is the system used mostly at public libraries. I’ve noticed that libraries often aren’t very good at figuring out which graphic novels are kids books and which are adult books, so check both when browsing.
PN6725 - PN6778: This is the Library of Congress classification for graphic novels. You’ll see Library of Congress used mostly at college and university libraries, although some public libraries use it as well. Believe it or not, many universities do have a graphic novel section, although the section if often small. The Library of Congress system is much more precise than Dewey Decimal, which is why graphic novels are located in a range of values (starting at PN6725 and ending at PN6778) rather than a single one.
There are exceptions to the above classifications, but for the most part, graphic novels will be located in one of these places. Which one depends on the individual library. (Manga is included in the graphic novel sections as well.)