February 16, 2018

Laverne Mann | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Marketers

Laverne Mann, Mercer County Library System, Ewing, NJA Player

At the Ewing Branch of the Mercer County Library System, reference librarian and computer trainer Laverne Mann channels her geek fandom and tech-savvy to create lively events, writer workshops, and a vastly enhanced collection of graphic novels. In the last six years, Mann has expanded Ewing’s graphic novel collection from just three items to hundreds of volumes, thanks to her extensive contacts with writers, artists, and comics publishers; she’s so passionate about the genre that she’s been coordinating the MidJersey ComicCon convention in Bordentown since 2005.

Colleague Lisa Shrager says Mann’s efforts “to make the library’s adult programming, computer training, and collection development as innovative as possible for patrons is unrivaled.”

Mann is devoted to the notion that a library should be technologically relevant to patrons and brings that ideal to bear on her other role as a computer trainer. “The ‘lightbulb’ moments are thrilling,” says Mann. “An 80-year-old sending her first email, a mother making a Flickr photo set, a man seeing his father across the country in a videoconference.”

Mann has fun with users, too—she brought in Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper for a photo op as part of an event that drew hundreds, and she’s gone head-to-head with patrons in Wii Sports matches.

Mann has high hopes for libraries to “continue to provide no-cost access to all patrons, offer innovative programs and computer training, and stay relevant, vibrant, and well funded.” Beyond that, however, she’d “love to see graphic novel collections, sequential art programs, and gaming at every library.”


Mercer County Library System, Ewing, NJ

POSITION Senior Reference Librarian

DEGREE MLIS, Drexel University, 2005

BLOG redlibcomic.blogspot.com