Bringing the Hulk to the Northlake Public Library

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By: Tyler Works, Teen Librarian, Northlake Public Library

Reprinted courtesy of: Northlake Public Library

Don’t you want to live in a world where libraries have statues of comic book characters, 3D printers, and professional quality graphic design hardware/software? We do too, which was why we recently launched a crowd sourced fundraiser using the platform Indiegogo to buy a nine foot tall Incredible Hulk Statue, a Replicator 2, an iMac, and a Cintiq pen display. The initial idea came from a community member who thought it would be a good idea to have a giant Hulk statue in the library to help promote and purchase more comics and graphic novels, especially creator-owned and indie titles.

After our kneejerk reaction of libraries don’t do this kind of thing, we started to buy into the idea more and more. We pride ourselves on having a diverse collection of comics, graphic novels, and manga for children, teens and adults, but these collections remain near the smallest of all our different collections. The graphic novels also have the highest circulation rate of all our print materials, but they also have the smallest budget. What makes our collection unique is the inclusion of the creator-owned and indie graphic novels. These are books like Hoax Hunters, Peter Panzerfaust, Lil Depressed Boy, Shinku or Monocyte that many other libraries don't take a chance on but circulate just as well as any Batman or Spider-man books. These facts showed us the need to grow our graphic novel collection and to find new revenue streams were both important. The fundraiser grew from there to include the items mentioned above in order to develop a “Creation Station” so community members could make their own graphic novels and pursue other creative projects. Plus, we feel that putting such a huge fun statue in the middle of the library will create interest from reluctant readers such as kids making them want to visit the library more often and read stories that might involve him.