The collection of comic books and graphic novels has vastly grown in the Massapequa High School library thanks to the efforts of a student organization as well as a generous donation.
The first-year Graphic Novels Club, advised by William Ryan, was an immediate hit. With approximately 50 members the club’s weekly Friday afternoon meetings typically draw at least 30 students who come to discuss comic books and graphic novels. One of the organization’s first initiatives was to expand the collection of those reading materials in the school library, so students organized a book drive.
Fliers for the book drive were hung throughout the high school, as well as at the Ames Campus for ninth-graders. It was at Ames where security guard Steve Miller saw the flier and contacted a friend of his at Marvel. The company made a donation far greater than anyone imagined, providing hundreds of new, hardbound comic books valued at more than $35,000.
Over the February recess, Miller personally drove to the Marvel office in New York City to pick up boxes and boxes of comics. He noted that the hardcover comics are a better option for a school library to cut down on wear and tear.
After months of sorting, organizing and shelving, the new comic book and graphic novel section was dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the library after school on June 9. In attendance were Curriculum Associate for ELA and Library Media Tina Farrell, library media specialists Jill O’Connor and Lynn Reynolds, Ryan, Miller and several members of the club.
Farrell noted that the club was born from an idea from students in Ryan’s Graphic Novels and Monsters in Print and Film ELA elective courses. During her remarks before the ribbon-cutting, she noted the enthusiasm of the students in the club and also presented Miller a certificate of appreciation for his efforts.
“I’m really excited that everyone is going to have a chance to enjoy what we in the club enjoy,” said senior Anthony Langone, the club’s president. “I love the variety of books. This means a lot to me, personally. To see our hard work actually displayed in the library is astonishing to me.”
Langone noted the extensive collection of Marvel comics, including Fantasy Island, Iron Man and Spiderman. Some of the donations will also be shared with the libraries at Berner Middle School and the Ames Campus.
“I think this is a great addition to the Massapequa library, and I’m so glad to be a part of this club,” added incoming president, junior Tiffany Chan.
—Submitted by the Massapequa School District