Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

Will Eisner

Two Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are given annually – the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant will provide support to a library that would like to expand its existing graphic novel services and programs and the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant will provides 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 to purchase graphic novels from the distributor-partner (current partner is The Brodart company.  Purchase to include cataloging and shipping),
  • $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 75 books and;
  • Graphic novels nominated for the current year’s Will Eisner Awards at Comic-Con International comprising approximately 100 books.

Chosen Grant applicant must agree to take responsibility for organizing a recognition ceremony of their grant in their library.

Further details and application information @ ALA.org.

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