Applications now being accepted for 2015 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

For Immediate Release
Fri, 10/03/2014


Tina Coleman

Staff Liaison

Graphic Novels & Comics Member Initiative Group


CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation opened applications today for the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries, which recognize libraries for their role in the growth of graphic literature.

The grants extend graphic novels into a new realm by encouraging public awareness about the rise and importance of graphic literature and honoring the creative excellence of Will Eisner. In 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 “Father of the Graphic Novel.” Information about the grant and application can be found at The application deadline is Jan. 26, 2015.

The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries awards two grants – the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant will provide support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs; the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant will provide support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service or program. Each recipient will receive a $4,000 program grant plus a collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies as well as the graphic novels nominated for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International. The grant award includes a travel stipend for a library representative to travel to the ALA Annual Conference to receive the grant from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. 

"Will Eisner spent much of his lifetime advocating for the inclusion of comics and graphic novels, which he called sequential art, on library shelves everywhere.” Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation said. “The Foundation is so pleased to provide libraries with assistance in building their graphic novel collections and programs through the two 2015 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants. We thank the ALA for their recognition of this important literary art form and for their encouragement in making these grants a reality."

This new grant opportunity debuted last year, receiving nearly 100 proposals and the winning libraries - Lewis & Clark Library, Helena, MT and Ypsilanti District Library – were announced at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

“We're enjoying connecting people in our community with a format they're unfamiliar with and having great conversations about comics, characters, and art,” Heather Dickerson, teen services librarian at Lewis and Clark Library, in Helena, Mont. – winners of the 2015 Eisner Innovation Grant for Libraries, “The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is important because it creates community wide conversations and puts high quality books and programs in the hands of library patrons.”

The grant is administered by ALA’s Gaming Round Table and the Graphic Novels & Comics Member Initiative Group.

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 and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. For more information about Will Eisner visit

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.

More information on the grant and the application process is available online at .  For any inquiries, please contact ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Initiative Group staff liaison Tina Coleman at