Recorded OHSLA Spring 2021 Session

Drawn to Graphic Medicine: Bringing Comics into Medical Librarianship

When: Register to watch the recorded session and obtain CE credit between May 7, 2021 and April 30, 2022.

Continuing Education Credits: 1.5

Registration Fee: $20 (you do not have to be an OHSLA member to participate)

Presenters: Kathryn Houk and Ariel Pomputius

Program Description:

Graphic medicine, the intersection of health care and comics, has emerged over the last ten years as a growing field in the health sciences, particularly in relation to health humanities and education. Librarians can play a vital role in supporting graphic medicine by collecting and distributing graphic medicine materials and including graphic medicine in their work or instruction efforts. In this webinar, we will discuss where graphic medicine came from and why it is valuable, what graphic medicine materials have emerged related to COVID-19, how you can start collecting graphic medicine at your library, and how you can integrate it into your work in the library.

For additional information, Kathryn Houk has written an article in MLAConnect (login required) entitled Consumer Health: Documenting a Pandemic Through Comics.

This program was made possible through the generous support of an NNLM-GMR Expert Speaker Award.


The learning objectives set forth by the presenters are:

  • Define Graphic Medicine
  • Learn at least one activity for encouraging drawing or critical engagement with comics
  • Access and use resources that support collection development and programming
  • Explain how comics can be used to support clinicians and health consumers in various ways
  • Discuss how comics can amplify marginalized voices or ideas in health and healthcare

The value of this program for our audience of health sciences librarians and library staff is that it offers an introduction to skills that can form the basis for innovative library services. These skills can be used to engage a wide range of library users, even during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenter Bios: 

Kathryn Houk (she/her), MLIS, MPH, AHIP, CHIS I is assistant professor and Health Literacy and Community Engagement Librarian at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas Health Sciences Library. She began developing a graphic medicine collection at her library in 2017 due to her interest in health humanities, health literacy, and innovative educational practice. Houk hopes to eventually contribute to the fields of public heath and medicine by furthering research on the use of comics as a health literacy tool.


Graphic representation of librarian

Ariel FitzGerald Pomputius is a health sciences liaison librarian at the Health Science Center Libraries, University of Florida–Gainesville and works primarily with medical students and various departments in the College of Medicine. Past efforts in graphic medicine include a graphic medicine book club for geriatric clerkship students and courses for undergraduates on palliative care providers and women’s health using graphic medicine materials.  Current efforts in graphic medicine use drawing comics as the catalyst to discuss job satisfaction and burnout with early career academic librarians. 

Questions: please contact Ximena Chrisagis.

    If you aren't already a member we invite you to consider joining OHSLA for additional collaboration, publication, networking, and problem solving opportunities as part of a vibrant community that shares your values and goals. 

      Past Presenters

      Each OHSLA meeting features an opportunity to earn continuing education by attending a class led by a qualified professional in the health sciences field. For a list of past presenters and topics, visit our Past Presenters page.

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