Of ceiling wax and cabbages

YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

Archive for the ‘research’ Category

You can call me Doc

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Ubby's Underdogs Launch Invitation I’m reading Ubby’s Underdogs: The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon by Brenton E. McKenna, Australia’s first Indigenous graphic novel. I’m looking forward to blogging about it when I finish. Magabala Books is launching this exciting tale of adventure and mystery on Friday week, 20 May in Broome. If you’re in the area join the fun at Sun Pictures – click on Ubby’s Invite to see the details.

And now for why you can call me Doc…

‘All of his [Poe’s] books were burned in the Great Fire. That’s thirty years ago – 2006.’
‘Ah’ said Mr Bigelow wisely, ‘One of those!’
‘Yes, one of those, Bigelow. He and Lovecraft and Hawthorn and Ambrose Bierce and all the tales of terror and fantasy and horror and, for that matter, tales of the future were burned. Heartlessly. They passed a law. Oh, it started very small. In 1999 it was a grain of sand. It began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressures; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves’

Ray Bradbury (1950) The Martian Chronicles

Luckily for us, Ray Bradbury’s future didn’t eventuate. Now that we’re inundated with comics and graphic novels, I wrote a thesis on them (and it swallowed way too many years of my life). Cos my baby Graphic novels: Enticing teenagers into the library is out in the world, googleable for all, you can read it. I don’t recommend you read it all, just dip into the bits that take your fancy. There is a table of contents, but sadly no index.

This is a nice short summary:

This thesis investigated the information habits of teenagers, including their recreational reading and internet use, and means of encouraging library use among teenagers, particularly through graphic novel collections in public and school libraries in Australia. A mixed methods approach was used which included focus groups with teenagers, a survey of public libraries, and interviews with public and teacher librarians.

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Written by ClareSnow

11 May 2011 at 8:36 am

What exactly is ceiling wax?

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The Walrus and the Carpenter illustrated by John Tenniel And what is it doing here!? I think it might be wax that drips from the ceiling. I’ve never actually seen any, but I heard a lot about it as a 12 year old listening over and over to a recording of Alice through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. More to the point, why has this blog suddenly become about such a strange substance? And cabbages, where did they come from? The same place as the ceiling wax.

’I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:
‘I deeply sympathize.’
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size.

As that 12 year old I could reel off “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (sad, I know) and parts of it are still stuck somewhere in the dark recesses of my brain (those seven maids with mops), as is the first stanza of “The Jabberwocky“. I did think ceiling wax sounded odd, but the world was full of strange things back then, especially when you went through a looking-glass.

Back to why is this tangent even here? Once you pass your thesis, many changes come about. Excuse me!? Have we stepped into a parallel universe? Don’t get too excited, I have some slight revisions and then it’ll be googleable for all the world to be bored by. I really don’t recommend you sit down (or even stand up) and read a thesis. Parts of my thesis are in the publishing machinations of various journals and I’ll blog about some tasty thesis morsels, from which you can then go to the original if you really want the torture, or unending references.

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Written by ClareSnow

20 June 2010 at 12:36 pm

Research into Reading

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I’m finalizing the literature review for my thesis. (I may even have a thesis to submit one day soon!) And I revisited two papers:

  • “Is there a decline in the reading romance?” by Stephen Krashen and Debra Von Sprecken, and
  • “Longitudinal study of the reading attitudes and behaviors of middle school students” by Terry Ley, Barbara Schaer, and Betsy Dismukes.

Krashen and Von Sprecken examined the results of a number of studies of children’s reading [1], including Ley, Schaer, and Dismukes’ longitudinal survey of 160 US students over three years as they progressed from sixth to eighth grade [2].

In their review of the literature Krashen and Von Sprecken looked at “how much children enjoyed reading” and concluded any decrease in reading enjoyment as children age is only slight. Most studies used a 5-point scale and the average was always above 2.5.

At no stage do children show a negative attitude toward reading. [3]

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Written by ClareSnow

18 June 2009 at 2:11 pm

LIBRES article

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My paper from the RAILS3 seminar has been published in LIBRES: Library and Information Science Research Electronic Journal. “Researching Graphic Novels and Their Teenage Readers” is available online.

Citation

Snowball, C. (2007) “Researching Graphic Novels and Their Teenage Readers” LIBRES, vol.17, no.1.

Written by ClareSnow

30 March 2007 at 11:06 am

RAILS 3 seminar

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I presented a paper at RAILS 3: Research Applications in Information and Library Studies held in Perth, Australia, 23 September 2006. I discussed my research methods and some preliminary results of my survey of Australian public libraries.

Abstract

Graphic novels are trade paperback or hardcover books consisting of work in comic-book form. They include book-length stories, collections of stories and works of non-fiction. This does not include collections of comic strips such as Garfield or Peanuts. They are a format and as such include many different genres.

Graphic novels are becoming more prevalent and popular among teenagers and are thus being collected by public and school libraries. There are numerous reasons for the current popularity of graphic novels. Young people today are much more attuned to visual means of communication, as they have grown up with television and computers. Teachers are using graphic novels to develop visual literacy, an important skill for success in today’s visual world. Both librarians and teachers are advocating graphic novels to encourage recreational reading, levels of which decrease as children become teenagers. Graphic novels are increasingly reviewed in library and general review sources, and in some sources are treated as just another aspect of contemporary writing.

The above reasons contributed to my desire to investigate graphic novel collections in public libraries, what teenagers think of graphic novels and whether they read them. In my paper I will discuss the three methods I am using to collect data on public library collections of graphic novels and teenagers’ views on graphic novels.

A postal survey of public libraries in Australia was conducted to determine whether public libraries have graphic novel collections and how these collections are selected, acquired, catalogued, housed and promoted. Focus groups with teenagers will be conducted to uncover what they think of graphic novels and whether they read them. Public librarians who have graphic novel collections in their library will be interviewed to determine their thoughts on their collections and the format in general. I will also discuss the preliminary results from the survey of public libraries.

Written by ClareSnow

26 September 2006 at 10:45 am

Candidacy

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My candidacy application has been accepted.

Research Proposal

Teenagers have been found to be reluctant to read in their leisure time, the importance of recreational reading necessitates methods to encourage teenagers to read. One format that has been discussed as a possibility to engage teenagers in reading is the graphic novel.

The objective of this research is to investigate the inclusion of graphic novels in library collections and whether this format encourages teenagers to use libraries and read in their free time. Graphic novel collections in Australian public libraries were investigated through a survey of Australia-wide Young Peoples’ Services (YPS) librarians. Interviews with Western Australian public and school librarians provided further insight into their library’s graphic novel collections and the librarians’ perceptions of the graphic novel format and graphic novel use by teenagers. Teenagers’ views on public libraries, their levels of recreational reading and thoughts on the graphic novel format were determined through focus groups. The difficulties in finding teenagers to participate in the research was overcome by selecting participants from local high schools, accessible through the researcher’s network of contacts.

Written by ClareSnow

10 October 2005 at 4:04 pm

Posted in candidacy, PhD, research

Research started

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I commenced my PhD research project at Curtin University of Technology.

Research Proposal

Teenagers have been found to be reluctant to read in their leisure time, the importance of recreational reading necessitates methods to encourage teenagers to read. One format that has been discussed as a possibility to engage teenagers in reading is the graphic novel.

The objective of this research is to investigate the inclusion of graphic novels in library collections and whether this format encourages teenagers to use libraries and read in their free time. Graphic novel collections in Australian public libraries were investigated through a survey of Australia-wide Young Peoples’ Services (YPS) librarians. Interviews with Western Australian public and school librarians provided further insight into their library’s graphic novel collections and the librarians’ perceptions of the graphic novel format and graphic novel use by teenagers. Teenagers’ views on public libraries, their levels of recreational reading and thoughts on the graphic novel format were determined through focus groups. The difficulties in finding teenagers to participate in the research was overcome by selecting participants from local high schools, accessible through the researcher’s network of contacts.

Written by ClareSnow

28 February 2005 at 9:33 am

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