Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table celebrates the 2023 recipients of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries – Billings Public Library, Blue Island Public Library, and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
For Immediate Release
Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table
American Library Association
The American Library Association’s Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are pleased to announce the 2023 recipients of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries. These grants, funded by the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, are administered by ALA's Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT).
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries consist of three annual grants given in two categories: two Growth Grants and one Innovation Grant. The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants provide support to libraries that would like to expand their existing graphic novel services and programs. The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant provides support to a library to initiate a graphic novel service, program, or initiative.
The 2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants are awarded to:
- Molly Ouellette and Barb Riebe of Billings Public Library in Billings, MT. − Their project "Made in Montana Graphic Novel Series" will expand their existing teen and adult graphic novel collections with a focus on local creators and diverse creators and stories, as well as working with local partner organizations on comics programming for young people from underserved communities or experiencing hardship.
- Micah Rademacher of Blue Island Public Library in Blue Island, IL. ─ Their project "Nos Vemos en los Cómics" features plans to add more Spanish-language titles and graphic novels by Latin American creators and create bilingual workshops and events focused on comics.
The 2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant is awarded to:
- Maureen Germaine of Buffalo & Erie County Public Library in Buffalo, NY ─ Their project "Comics & Cosplay" plans to grow their bookmobile’s graphic novel collection and collaborate with a local fandom organization on an event to highlight the collection and connect teens with comic shops, cosplayers, and local creators around storytelling, design, and creativity.
Each of these grants award the winning libraries $2,000 in collection development funds for the purchase of graphic novels, as well as $1,000 to host a graphic novel-themed event. Additionally, the recipients will receive the Will Eisner Library—a graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s in-print work and biographies about the acclaimed writer and artist—and a selection of this year’s Will Eisner Award-winning graphic novels, along with a $1,000 travel stipend to attend the 2023 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The grant recipients will be celebrated at ALA Annual during the 2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries Presentation on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at 9 a.m. CT.
Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation said, "Congratulations to this year’s grant winners. Their plans encompass the wide vision and spirit Will Eisner held for the potential and appeal of comics across cultures, socioeconomic levels and generations. All three winning proposals are inspiring, from building graphic novel collections for diversified populations to presenting programs and workshops that stimulate imagination, foster creativity, teach sequential art technique, and even produce budding, new graphic novelists. Together, they enhance the lives of the patrons they serve. By introducing diverse and vulnerable groups of readers to rich experiences through the unique expressiveness of comics, these libraries provide special opportunities which would otherwise be missed. We thank Micah Rademacher, Molly Ouellette, Barb Riebe, and Maureen Germaine and their libraries for their inspiring work, especially during these very difficult times."
Edward Whatley, chair of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries juries, said, "This year’s winners not only demonstrate a compelling need for starting or growing graphic novel collections in their libraries but have also planned great comics related programs and events to engage with their communities and allow readers to connect with and learn from graphic novel creators. We were truly impressed with the creativity and dedication to the comics medium displayed in this year’s applications."
More information on the grants and the application process can be found at http://www.ala.org/rt/gncrt/eisner
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, who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics. Will Eisner is best known for being the creator of The Spirit comic, for developing comics for education and training, and for writing the first modern graphic novel. For more information about Will Eisner visit www.willeisner.com.
About the Graphic Novels and 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 Round Table; Twitter: @libcomix; Instagram: @libcomix; or the GNCRT ALA Connect page.
Established in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide 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.
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