The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries
2024 grant cycle is now closed. Grant winners will be announced this spring. Check back in October for information about the 2025 grant cycle.
Be sure to also check out the Eisner Grant FAQ page for new updates and additional information (including samples of some of the previous winning grant applications.
Check out this recorded webinar for some tips and advice for your Will Eisner Grant application
2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant winners:
- 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.
2023 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant winner:
- 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.
About the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries
Two Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries will be given in the 2024 grant cycle - one Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants will provide support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs and one Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant will provide support to a library for the initiation of a graphic novel service, program or initiative. These Grants will support two categorical grants that will encourage public awareness on the rise and importance of graphic literature, sequential art, and comics as a literary medium. The objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries is to facilitate library-generated programs and services that will promote graphic novels to library patrons and to the local community.
Will Eisner (1917-2005) was an acclaimed American comics writer, artist, teacher, and entrepreneur. He is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of sequential art (a term he coined) and is known for the cartooning studio he founded; for his highly influential comic series, The Spirit; for his use of comics as an instructional medium; for his leading role in establishing the graphic novel as a form of literature with his 1978 groundbreaking graphic novel, A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories; for his 20 years of teaching at the School of Visual Arts, leading to his three textbooks. In a career that spanned nearly seven decades—from the dawn of the comic book to the advent of digital comics—Will Eisner was truly the “Father of the Graphic Novel.”
Each winning library will receive a grant award of $4,000 to support initiatives that align with the objective of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries. The grant award will consist of the following:
- $2,000 grant in collection development funds to purchase graphic novels,
- $1,000 grant to host a graphic novel-themed event at a library or another community location, and
- $1,000 grant to attend the ALA Annual Conference to receive their grant money. This grant can be used towards any of the following: conference registration, transportation, lodging and food.
In addition, from the book publishers and the Eisner Foundation, the winning libraries will also receive the following graphic novels, valued at approximately $3,000:
- The Will Eisner Library: A graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies about Will Eisner* (comprising approximately 40 books)
- A selection of the winning titles from the current year’s Will Eisner Awards* at Comic-Con International (comprising approximately 40 books).
* Please note that some of the titles in these collections are of a mature nature.
Chosen Grant applicants must agree to take responsibility for organizing a recognition ceremony of their grant in their library.
ALA’s Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table
Grants will be awarded annually.
- All applicants must be current members of ALA in good standing at the time of application (personal or organizational).
- The institution can be a school, public, academic or special library and must be located in North America (Canada, United States, or Mexico).
- Existing commercial programs will not be considered.
- Any library or Friends group may submit an application to the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant.
- A library or Friends group may not submit an application to Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant and the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant in the same year.
- Past winners of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Award for Libraries are eligible to receive a Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant.
- No library or Friends group should receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant more than two times over the five year period.
- No library or Friends group should receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant for a project or program sponsored by Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant funding.
- Institutions represented by the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant Jury are eligible to apply, but Committee members must recuse themselves from the discussion and voting or decline the nomination if they have a conflict of interest.
ALA Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table Staff Liaison: Tina Coleman firstname.lastname@example.org