At a ceremony held at the American Library Association Convention in Chicago, three librarians were awarded the second annual Will Eisner Graphic Novel Award for Libraries. The libraries where each of them work will each receive a collection of the graphic novels nominated for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, presented each year at the San Diego Comic-Con International, the entire Will Eisner backlist, a $2000 voucher to purchase graphic novels and a $1000 for a comics-related event at their libraries.
The winning librarians are Julia Simpson, branch manager of the Auburn Public Library in Georgia, Jude Shanzer, director of the East Meadow Public Library in New York, and Beth Adcock, librarian at the Middlebury Community Public Library in Indiana.
The three librarians were chosen from a drawing for the prizes held at ALA convention over the weekend. The prizes were awarded to the three librarians at ceremony at the Graphic Novel Stage on the exhibition floor at the ALA Convention on Sunday. Library distribution vendor Brodart will handle the cataloging and shipping of the graphic novel collections to the winning libraries.
The prizes were presented to the winners by Carl Gropper, nephew of Will Eisner, and his wife Nancy Gropper, who both direct the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation which oversees the Eisner estate as well as the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Award for libraries.
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Award for Libraries was established last year in memory of Will Eisner (1917-2005), an acclaimed comics artist and considered one of the most innovative and influential comics creators in the history of the comics medium. Eisner was instrumental in the creation of the American comic book industry in the late 1930s; he is the creator of the Spirit, a classic noir comic strip from the 1940s that highlighted his knack for creative innovation, and his pioneering and critically acclaimed 1978 short story collection, A Contract with God, is considered one of the earliest examples of the standalone original graphic novel. The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards—the National Book Awards of the comics industry—are presented annually to the best comics and graphic novels of the previous year at a gala ceremony held at Comic-Con International: San Diego in July.