Libraries are invited to apply for the 2021 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries
For Immediate Release
Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table
American Library Association
CHICAGO — The Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) of ALA and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are pleased to announce the opening of the 2021 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries grant cycle. These grants recognizes libraries for their role in the growth of graphic literature and awards funds and resources for graphic novel collection development and programming.
Through these grants the GNCRT and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation seek to continue to extend graphic novels into new realms by encouraging public awareness about the rise and importance of graphic literature and honoring the legacy and creative excellence of Will Eisner. For a career that spanned nearly eight decades — from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics — Will Eisner is recognized as the “Champion of the Graphic Novel.”
Three grants will be awarded: two recipients will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants which provides support to libraries that would like to expand their existing graphic novel collection, services and programs; and one recipient will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant which provides support to a library for the initiation of a new graphic novel service or program. Recipients each receive a $4,000 programming and collection development grant plus a collection of Will Eisner’s works and biographies as well as a selection of the winners of the 2021 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International. The grant also includes a travel stipend for a library representative to travel to the 2021 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL to receive recognition from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. An applying librarian or their institution must be an ALA Member to be eligible and the grants are now open to libraries across North America, including Canada and Mexico.
“Will Eisner held a lifelong belief in comics as art and literature. His love of the medium lead him to create groundbreaking comic books, highly inspirational sequential art instructional books, and the birth of the graphic novel. He advocated strongly, unceasingly, that the best of comic books, comic art and graphic novels should be collected and housed on library shelves. Thanks to the ALA, graphic novel librarians, and the GNCRT, Will Eisner’s dream continues to be a reality. Through library book acquisition and public education, comics and graphic novels especially, are burgeoning in popularity,” says Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. “The three grants are awarded to honor Will Eisner’s legacy and to thank librarians for their devoted and outstanding work. We invite each one of you to participate and hope you will.”
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries debuted in 2014, and the 2020 recipients — the Avon-Washington Township Public Library, Avon, IN, the Cape Fear Community College Library, Willmington, NC, and the Ontario First Nation Library Service – North, Sudbury, ON Canada — were honored in a September 30th webinar – “Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries – 2020 Projects” and will be a part of the planned celebration at the 2021 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are administered by the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table. Alea Perez, President of the GNCRT said of the grants, “Comics and graphic novels are a versatile and diverse storytelling format that can unearth truths, provide refuge from challenging times, inspire dreams, and create paths for readers to connect with one another and the creators who bring them to life. The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table is honored to work alongside the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation to continue to pay tribute to Will Eisner's grand and enduring legacy. By providing these opportunities to libraries across North America and the communities they serve, we are ensuring the continued championing of the graphic format and the strengthening of community ties through the power of access and illustration.”
The application and information about the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries can be found on the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table Eisner Grants page. The application deadline is Sunday February 7, 2021. For any inquiries, please contact ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table staff liaison Tina Coleman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation
The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation fosters innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art, and comics. It encourages others to continue and build upon the legacy of Will Eisner (1917 – 2005), who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. Will Eisner is well known for his 17 graphic novels and three textbooks. For more information about Will Eisner visit www.willeisner.com.
About the Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table
The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association is dedicated to supporting library staff in all aspects of engaging with graphic novels and comics, including collection development, programming, and advocacy. For more information connect with GNCRT on Facebook: ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table; Twitter: @libcomix; Instagram: @libcomix; or the GNCRT ALA Connect page.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world, provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.