Librarian to sister superior, 1948: comic books are good for kids!


April 15, 1948

Sister Marie Helen Superior
Cheverus School
Irving Street
Malden, Massachusetts

Dear Sister Superior:

One of your teachers, Sister Juliana, has sent the library a letter requesting that the children’s librarians not issue any type of comic book to the pupils of her sixth grade. As we have received no requests from the teachers in the other grades of your school regarding the borrowing of these books I believed that you should be notified.

The library makes a practice of having all kinds of books available for all kinds of people. It is always interested in furthering the reading of good literature. Realizing the ubiquity of comic books and their popularity with children the library profession in conjunction with Parents’ Magazine was instrumental in establishing a new type of comic book which it was thought would be suitable for readers of the ordinary comics and which it was hoped would lead them to ask for better types of books. This so-called comic book is entitled “True Comics” and usually has biography, history, travel, adventure, sports, science, etc., as its subject matter.

We shall attempt to co-operate with the teacher in refusing this magazine to the members of her class, although it is impossible for each library assistant to know each child individually; it seems odd that only one class in one school of the many schools of the city should not be allowed access to this type of reading.

Sincerely yours,



Zowie; now that’s a tab stop! 22 characters!

I assume the “anonymous” librarian is only anonymous to us. I imagine “MW” typed this memo on behalf of “ISC” and this image was a carbon copy, removed and filed before ISC signed the memo.

But I almost prefer to imagine The Librarian typing this:


The Tortures of Saint Erasmus is often cited as a 13th century progenitor of comics, as I recall.

Because kids should go from 0 to 60 in one burst, now you know your ABCs, here are “The Iliad”, “The Odyssey” and Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, enjoy.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.