On June 30, during the American Library Association’s annual conference in Chicago, the Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation announced the winners of the second annual Will Eisner Graphic Novels Award for Libraries. Branch Manager Julia Simpson, Auburn P.L., GA; Director Jude Shanzer, East Meadow P.L., NY; and Librarian Beth Adcock, Middlebury Community P.L., IN, each received a gift from the foundation that included graphic novels nominated for the prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the entire Will Eisner Library of books, $2,000 to be used toward the purchase of graphic novels, and $1,000 to sponsor a graphic novel- or comics-themed library event.
According to Comic Book Resources, “The collection of titles comprises over 250 graphic novels making the total value for each award approximately $6,000.” The comics news website also reported comments from President of the Foundation Carl Gropper, who stated, “We developed this award as a way to recognize the importance of graphic novels in education; the role that librarians have played in the growth of the graphic novel format; and to show Will Eisner’s many contributions to the comics industry. While Will Eisner helped to create the foundation for graphic novels, librarians have championed the benefits of the graphic novel format and the comics medium to the world’s readers.” On the spirit of the man behind the award, Gropper said, “The addition of the Eisner Award-nominated titles to the prize reflects the spirit of inclusion that Will Eisner was known for. He would have loved to have participated in the convergence of the comics and library communities.”
The Eisner Awards are known as the Oscars of the Comics Industry and are announced each year at San Diego Comic-Con (July 18–21). Nominated titles are selected by a committee of independent industry experts, which, since 2005, has included a librarian.