Two librarians and a library services student leave Anaheim with graphic novel collections featuring Eisner Award-nominated titles and funds valued at over $5,000 for each of their libraries.
Anaheim, CA – (June 25, 2012) The Will & Ann Eisner Family Foundation today announced the three winners for the first Will Eisner Graphic Novel Prize for Libraries. The winners of the prize were library services student, Dylan Flesch, retired librarian Viola Dyas, and Jack Baur from the Berkeley Public Library. The three lucky winners were drawn from 100 finalists in a ceremony held on the Graphic Novel Stage during Sunday’s programming at the American Library Association Annual Conference at the Anaheim Convention Center.
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Prize for Libraries consists of three collections of titles nominated for the 2012 Eisner Awards and the Will Eisner Library Catalog (totaling over 150 books), plus a $2,000 voucher for the purchase of more graphic novels through Brodart Company, and an additional $1,000 for a graphic novel author/creator visit or graphic novel/comics themed event. The estimated total value for each prize is over $5,000.
Dylan Flesch, an MLIS candidate at the University of Washington said, “This is just amazing. I am so happy to win this collection. I’ll be donating it to my home town library system in Seattle, Washington.
Jack Baur, Teen Services Librarian at the Berkeley Public Library adds that his library will immediately put the books and the funds to good use. “We are fortunate to have a very progressive approach to graphic novel collection development and this prize from the family of Will Eisner will allow us to celebrate and honor his contribution to the world of comics, graphic novels and now libraries.”
Viola Dyas, a retired librarian from the San Francisco area has decided her prize will go to the library at the Alameda County Juvenile Hall in San Leandro, California. “This is such a wonderful prize and the kids are in such desperate need for great books-especially these graphic novels. The additional funds for the purchase of more books and to host an author/creator visit is a wish come true.”
“This means- quite literally – the world! Viola is such an amazing friend and her gift to our library is nothing short of incredible.” says Amy Cheney, whose library will receive the prize, adding “My kids are reluctant readers, but with the right materials they are voracious readers. These are the right materials!!!”
Carl Gropper, President of the Foundation says, “We developed this prize as a way to emphasize not only Will Eisner’s contributions to the comics industry, but to also recognize the important role that librarians have played in the phenomenal growth of the graphic novel category. 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.”
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Prize for Libraries was open to all public, school, and academic librarians attending the summer conference in Anaheim. Over 20,000 librarians and library professionals registered to attend the conference. The entire list of Will Eisner titles and Eisner Award-nominated titles can be found at www.willeisner.com.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.