Libraries are invited to use for the 2021 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries

CHICAGO – ALA’s Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table (GNCRT) and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation are pleased to announce the opening of the funding cycle for Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries 2021. These grants recognize libraries for their role in the growth of graphic literature and award funds and resources for developing and programming collections of graphic novels.

With these grants, GNCRT and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation seek to continue expanding graphic novels into new areas by raising public awareness of the rise and importance of graphic literature and recognizing Will Eisner’s legacy and creative excellence. For a career spanning almost eight decades – from the beginning of comics to the advent of digital comics – Will Eisner is considered the “champion of the graphic novel”.

Three grants will be awarded: Two recipients will receive the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grants, which support libraries looking to expand their existing graphic novel collections, services and programs. One recipient receives the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant, which supports a library in initiating a new graphic novel service or program. Recipients will each receive a program and collection development grant of USD 4,000, as well as a collection of Will Eisner’s works and biographies, and a selection of the winners of the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2021 at Comic-Con International. The scholarship also includes a travel grant for a library representative who wishes to travel to the 2021 ALA annual conference in Chicago, IL to receive recognition from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. An applicant librarian or their institution must be an ALA member to be eligible. The grants are now open to libraries across North America, including Canada and Mexico.

“Will Eisner believed in comics as art and literature for a lifetime. His love of the medium led him to create groundbreaking comics, highly inspirational textbooks on sequential art, and the birth of the graphic novel. He strongly advocated that the best of comics, comic art, and graphic novels should be collected and kept on library shelves. Will Eisner’s dream continues to come true thanks to the ALA, graphic novel librarians, and the GNCRT. Comics and graphic novels in particular are enjoying growing popularity thanks to library book acquisitions and public education, ”said Nancy and Carl Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. “The three grants are given to honor Will Eisner’s legacy and to thank librarians for their dedicated and outstanding work. We invite each of you to participate, and we hope you do. “

The 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries and Recipients for 2020 – Avon-Washington Community Public Library, Avon, IN, Cape Fear Community College Library, Willmington, NC, and Ontario First Nation Library Service – North , Sudbury, ON Canada – was honored in a webinar entitled “Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries – 2020 Projects” in a webinar on September 30th and will be part of the planned celebration at the ALA 2021 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL.

The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries are administered by the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table. Alea Perez, President of the GNCRT, said of the grants, “Comics and graphic novels are a versatile and diverse narrative format that can reveal truths, offer refuge from challenging times, inspire dreams, and create avenues for readers to interact with each other and with people connect creators who bring them to life. The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table is an honor to work with the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation to continue paying tribute to Will Eisner’s great and enduring legacy. By providing these opportunities to libraries across North America and the communities in which they serve, we ensure that the graphic format continues to be supported and that relationships with communities are strengthened through access and illustration. “

The application and information on the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries can be found on the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table Eisner Grants page. The application deadline is Sunday, February 7th, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table staff member Tina Coleman at [email protected]

About the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation
The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation promotes innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art and comics. It encourages others to continue and build on the legacy of Will Eisner (1917-2005) who pioneered new avenues in the development of visual narration and the language of comics and who was the creators of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystics, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. Will Eisner is known for his 17 graphic novels and three textbooks. You can find more information about Will Eisner at

About the Round Table Graphic Novels & Comics
The American Library Association’s Round Table on Graphic Novels and Comics assists library staff in all aspects of dealing with graphic novels and comics, including developing, programming, and advocating collections. For more information, please visit GNCRT on Facebook: ALA Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Round Table; Twitter: @libcomix; Instagram: @libcomix; or the GNCRT ALA Connect page.

Via the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA), the world’s oldest and largest library association, is a leader in developing, promoting, and enhancing library and information services and the library profession to improve learning and ensure access to information for all.

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