Graphic novel fans across the world help restock Southwick Library

Southwick Library has had a huge boost to its graphic novels collection thanks to a donation of books collected from all over the world.

Paul Alborough, a steampunk hip hop entertainer who goes by the name Professor Elemental, is a big fan of graphic novels and when he discovered the library’s collection had gone missing, he was quick to respond.

Steampunk hip hop entertainer Professor Elemental, right, presents more than 100 graphic novels to senior library assistant Dan Belton at Southwick Library. Picture: Steve Robards SR1908334

Steampunk hip hop entertainer Professor Elemental, right, presents more than 100 graphic novels to senior library assistant Dan Belton at Southwick Library. Picture: Steve Robards SR1908334

Read more: Professor Elemental launches campaign to replace missing books at Southwick Library

Desperate to see the shelves refilled with books, he launched an appeal among friends and fans across the world.

Paul said: “Libraries in the UK are really struggling at the moment and when I went to my library recently and found out that someone had stolen all of their comics and graphic novels, I was most upset.

“Instead of wailing in the library, although I did that too, I thought I’d do something positive by trying to replenish their stocks through charity donations.

“There are enough books to share around the other libraries. Getting to read some of them myself before I gave them away was my little reward to myself. They have come from all over the world and it is nice to be able to give them to a new home.

“Many are aimed at teenagers but some are adult ones and quite dark.”

Paul presented the books at Southwick Library on Wednesday.

Dan Belton, senior library assistant, said: “We are very, very happy to have this huge bolstering of our stock with these lovely graphic novels. Among them are some of the best works you are getting in literature. Blankets, for example, is a brilliant story.”

West Sussex County Council said thefts from libraries were rare.

A spokesman said: “It was a real shock when we found out so many graphic novels had been stolen from Southwick Library last year. We want to make libraries a central part of the community and when things like this happen it’s a real blow, not just for us, but for the residents that make use of these spaces on a daily basis.

“We are really touched that Professor Elemental took it upon himself to help us and it just goes to show what a difference people in the community can make when it is a subject close to their hearts.

“We can’t wait to meet Professor Elemental next week and thank him personally for his support and dedication to Southwick Library.”