What is a graphic novel?
The answer to this question will vary, depending on whom you ask.
A graphic novel is a single, original story, aimed at a more mature audience than traditional comics, never having been printed as a comic book.
Or perhaps it's Frank Miller's 300, which was originally printed as individual comic book issues.
Maybe graphic novels are digest sized, black and white paperback books, almost always eastern in origin, with the story serialized across multiple volumes?
Perhaps they are books that reprint comic strips, originally syndicated in newspapers.
Ask a librarian, and you'll likely be directed to sections of the library featuring all these types of books. Furthermore, each section may be aimed at different age groups - kids, teens, and adults.
From Films on Demand:
Topics range from the influence of manga on the rise in popularity of graphic novels to a growing respect in literary circles for compressed forms of fiction. Portions of graphic novels by Spiegelman and others and readings by Gould are included. (29 minutes)