Applications now being accepted for 2016 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

For Immediate Release
Thu, 10/08/2015


Tina Coleman

Staff Liaison

Graphic Novels & Comics Member Initiative Group


CHICAGO  —  The American Library Association (ALA) and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are now accepting applications for the 2016 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 January 25, 2016.

The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries awards two grants: the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant provides support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs; the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant provides support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service or program. Each recipient will receive a $4,000 program and collection development grant plus a collection of Will Eisner’s works and biographies as well as the graphic novels nominated for the 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International. The grant award includes a travel stipend for a library representative to travel to the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida to receive  recognition from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. 

Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation said, "In 1978 Will Eisner revolutionized the field of comics with one of the first graphic novels.  How pleased he would be with the richness, diversity and popularity of graphic novels today. On behalf of the Foundation, we are so pleased to offer these two annual grants to help libraries build their graphic novel collections and increase their graphic novel community programming. The response thus far has been very gratifying. We encourage all libraries to send in their applications.”

This new grant opportunity debuted in 2014, and in its second year the grants received nearly 150 proposals and the winning libraries  —  Yuma High School Library, Yuma, Arizona, and Bellmore Memorial Library, Bellmore, New York  —  were announced at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

"The Will Eisner Innovation Grant has provided my library with the means and opportunity to not just promote graphic novels in the library collection, but also to teach our patrons the value of graphic novels as a storytelling format which can be used to strengthen the connections between members of our community," said Bellmore Memorial Library’s Head of Teen Services  — and winner of the 2015 Eisner Innovation Grant for Libraries  —  Valerie Acklin.

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

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

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.