Librarian & Educator Day 2016

TCAF is for Teachers and Librarians!

Toronto Comic Arts Festival Librarian & Educator Day: Friday, May 13th 2016


The fifth annual TCAF Librarian & Educator Day is happening on Friday, May 13th 2016 at Toronto Reference Library. Building on the success of our last four years, and incorporating your feedback, L&ED 2016 will once again be a full day of professional programming to help you make the most of the medium of comics in your libraries and schools.

Librarian & Educator Day is held in the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at Toronto Reference Library, a block from the Yonge-Bloor station in downtown Toronto. Librarians and teachers may participate in Librarian & Educator Day for free, but must register via the link below.

Click here to sign up!

Programming for Librarian & Educator Day 2016 Schedule

TCAF 2016 Poster by Kate BeatonWe’re excited to announce the program for TCAF Librarian & Educator Day 2016! Below you’ll see the schedule and programs that have been confirmed, with more to be announced in the next week. Stay tuned!


8:00 AM – Doors, check in, registration
9:00AM – Keynote by Ryan North (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Dinosaur Comics, Romeo and/or Juliet)
10:00AM – Coffee Break
10:15AM – Session A (see programs below)
11:30AM – Session B (see programs below)
12:30PM – Creators Lunch – Join comics creators and experts from across North America for a buffet lunch with the purchase of a TCAF Librarian & Educator Day Patron Pack!
2:00PM – Session C (see programs below)
3:00PM – Session D (see programs below)

Complete Program

8:00AM – Doors. Registration. Coffee.


Keynote – Humanities Greatest Achievement: Comics 

Comics creator Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics, Romeo and/or Juliet, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) explores the history of invention throughout human history, and concludes that it took us way longer than it needed to for us to come up with humanity’s greatest invention. We don’t want to spoil what that invention is, but it’s kinda in the title. SURPRISE. He’ll also explore the different ways comics can be used to communicate ideas.


Comics 101: Comics for Educators 

Join comics guru Phil Amara for a rare small-group workshop specifically for educators. Phil is an ex-editor, kids author, and full-time teacher who uses the comics form with his elementary students. Phil will guide you through “do-now” comics creation tuned to the Ontario Curriculum writing expectations. Transform hands-on materials to sequential art creations that enrich language arts.

Comics 201: Touchy Subjects 

Comics, like other forms of literature, sometimes cover tough subjects like death, race, sexuality, gender identity and poverty. But do comics that cover challenging or controversial subjects face more scrutiny than other texts on the same subjects? A roundtable discussion between writer and sex educator Cory Silverberg, educator Fatma Faraj, comic artist Matt Holm and children’s librarian Scott Robins will look at what subjects comics are covering and how this fear of certain subjects plays out differently with comics than with other media.

Non-Fiction: Info/Graphic 

From infographics to Maus, illustrations have a way of conveying information that any audience can understand. Join artist Nicholas Burns, professor Jen Gilbert and artist & educator Fiona Smyth with moderator Keith Friedlander in a discussion about why comics are so good at connecting readers with information.

11:15AM – Coffee Break.


Comics 101: It Takes All Kinds – The Many Genres of Comics for Young People 

Join Toronto Public Library’s Scott Robins (A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics) on a tour of the many genres that exist under the umbrella of comics. While some comics genres mirror those available in the rest of your library, others have emerged that are specific to the medium. This talk will introduce you to some new and essential titles for your children’s and YA collections while introducing you to the breadth and diversity graphic novels offer and their new influence on other areas of traditional children’s literature!

Comics 201: Comics and Mental Health 

Comics on the subject of mental health can be empowering for both the reader and the creator. A panel of comic creators who have touched on mental health in their work, Jason Bradshaw, jes sachse, Jenn Woodall and Tory Woollcott, will speak with moderator Cory Silverberg about how other media depicts mental health and why it’s important for comics to get it right.

Non-Fiction: Graphic Memoir 

This panel discussion will look at the popularity of memoir comics and the rise of an emerging artform not found in any other medium: the middle school memoir. Through a discussion with memoir comic creators Marta Chudolinska, Meags Fitzgerald, MariNaomi and Dasha Tolstikova, moderator and comics educator Michelle Miller will lead us through a discovery of why and how memoir comics are connecting with all age groups.


Creator Lunch. Buffet available with the purchase of a Patron Pack. – Join comics creators and experts for an informal buffet lunch.


Comics 101: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility 

Understanding that comics and graphic novels have a place in the K-12 classroom is one thing. Understanding how to teach them in a way that empowers students is quite another. This workshop provides practical teaching advice about using comics and graphic novels with struggling, reluctant, proficient, advanced and even gifted readers and writers by looking at pedagogical strategies that maximize student engagement and build confidence with the form. The workshop, conducted by Glen Downey, will feature a wealth of fantastic print and digital resources that teachers can start using right away.

Comics 201: ReFormation: Making Your Collection Racially Diverse 

ReFormation is a workshop that seeks to give librarians and educators the tools to add diverse comics to their collections and to incorporate these into their everyday collections and lesson plans.

Non-Fiction: Graphic Histories 

Every year there are more and more historical comics published for kids, teens, and adult readers. How do these history books fit into our public and school library collections, alongside (or separately from) their prose equivalents? What kinds of research go into the production of graphic histories, and what kinds of research can readers do with history comics? Do comics tell some kinds of history better than others? Join cartoonists Willow Dawson (Hyena in Petticoats) and Scott Chantler (Two Generals) and moderator Alexander Finbow (Renegade Arts) for this engaging panel discussion.


Comics 101: Community Arts Comics

Join Annie Wong, a community artist and the Outreach Coordinator director for Broken Pencil Magazine, and Jonathan Valelly, Broken Pencil’s Assistant Editor and a lead artist at Making Room Community Arts. Jonathan and Annie will share about the awesome creative potential of making zines, comics, and books in community contexts like public libraries, schools, community centres and really, anywhere unexpected. Come prepared to cut and paste!

Comics 201: Manga for Adults

While there is overwhelming support for shōnen and shōjo collections for young people, manga is a neglected or misunderstood category in many adult library collections. Likewise, while high schools fill their shelves with Naruto (which is great!), their “literary” graphic collections all include Spiegelman but rarely include Mizuki (for example). What manga is out there for the serious/adult reader? Why is manga an essential part of a graphic collection for older readers? What challenges does manga for adults face in the library or the market as a whole? Join moderator Calvin Reid (Publishers Weekly) and panelists Peggy Burns (Drawn+Quarterly), Brigid Alverson (MangaBlog, Comic Book Resources) and Christopher Butcher (, TCAF Festival Director) for a discussion of this emerging category.

Non-Fiction: Illustrating STEM 

Panelists and science comic creators MK Reed, Rina Piccolo and TK will discuss how reading comics can encourage an interest in science and technology. Moderated by Glen Downey.

Patron Pack & Lunch!

We encourage participants to purchase a Patron Pack for Librarian and Educator Day. A Patron Pack costs $100 (plus tax = $105) and includes a selection of books in your selected grade/age range preference, as well as a ticket to our Creators Lunch. Only $100 for well over $100 worth of great books, and a catered lunch during L&ED with great authors? It’s too good a deal to pass up!

The Packs include quality titles selected by The Beguiling Library Services team and our publishing sponsors for their popularity and literary/artistic/social value, and are a great way to boost your graphic collection! During the Creators Lunch, you’ll be seated with a variety of local or international comics authors and artists. It’s a great time to build connections and get great insight into the world of graphic novels!

2016 Creator Lunch Particpants are schedueled to include: Alex A. (Secret Agent Jean), Kazu Kibuishi & Jason Caffoe (Amulet), Matt Holm (Sunny Side Up, Babymouse), Ryan North (Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), and many more still to be announced!

We’re happy to bill your school or institution for your Patron Pack, or you can purchase it and keep the books to yourself! You’ll see a flexible variety of payment options as you sign up, and we will accept Patron Pack purchases on site.

So what are you waiting for…?

Click here to sign up for Librarian & Educator Day!