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Posted on: July 22, 2014

Lewis & Clark Library Receives the 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant


July 22, 2014 (Helena, MT)—The American Library Association (ALA) and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation presented the 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant to the Lewis & Clark Library, for their project "Graphically Yours." On hand to receive the award at the ALA 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas were Lewis & Clark Library Teen Services Librarian Heather Dickerson and Information Desk Assistant Eric Walliman.

Dickerson and Walliman collaborated on the grant application and are excited about how receiving the grant will impact the Lewis & Clark Library. “Graphically Yours” includes the development of the graphic novel collection and a month-long slate of special graphic novel and comic programs to engage patrons.

Receiving the grant is a huge honor for the Library explains Walliman, “our collection is relatively small but experiences major use; receiving this grant will allow us to expand our collection and offer an even broader selection of graphic novels to our patrons.” Walliman goes on to explain that while the genre is popular with young adults, it has wide spread appeal to multiple audiences, “text books are using the format to address different learning styles; there are studies that indicate that the use of graphic novels for ESL students increases the student’s success with learning the language; and it isn’t a coincidence that the most popular movies are based off of comic books, it’s a format that appeals to all readers and all learners.”

According to Dickerson, the goal of “Graphically Yours” is to celebrate the genre of graphic novels, comics, and manga and encourage a complex form of reading. The grant will allow the two to expand the Lewis & Clark Library’s collection to address demand. “Our graphic novel collection is very popular. One of the special things about this grant is that it includes the whole Will Eisner catalog and this year’s nominees for the Eisner Awards, which identify the best work in the format,” explains Dickerson. “We’re really excited to add more breadth and depth to the collection.”

In addition to buying more materials, the grant also includes funds for programming. Dickerson and Walliman are excited to develop and offer programming for patrons based on the graphic and comic format. “Patrons can look forward to a month of graphic novel related programming, including a ‘Series to Screen’ book discussion where participants will read and discuss the comic book and compare/contrast with the movie,” explains Dickerson.

Dickerson and Walliman are also working on special programs designed to illustrate why graphic novels are so popular and educational. “Tweens and teens who read graphic novels, comics, and manga generally read at least one grade level higher. They also navigate the complex relationship between images and print that is fundamental to the development of digital literacy skills,” explains Dickerson. “It’s pretty exciting to be able to chart new territory at our library, this is a new programming format for us and I think that patrons will enjoy the new offerings,” explains Walliman.

The Lewis & Clark Library was one of two grant recipients of the more than 75 applications received by the ALA. The 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant was presented to Ypsilanti District Library, Ypsilanti, Mich. Their project "Graphic Novels in Healthcare: An Opportunity for Growth" expands their medical graphic novel collection and offers programs where healthcare professionals and careers learn how graphic novels and comics can help with patient treatment and recovery.

Each of the grants awards the winning libraries with a $2,000 voucher to purchase graphic novels from the distributor-partner—Brodart, $1,000 to host a graphic novel-themed event, and a $1,000 stipend to attend the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Additionally the winners will receive the Will Eisner Library (a graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies about acclaimed writer and artist) and copies of the graphic novels nominated for this year’s Will Eisner Awards at San Diego Comic-Con.

The grants, funded by Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, are administered by ALA's Games and Gaming Round Table and the Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Initiative Group.

Jury member John Mack Freeman said, “It was really exciting to see so many innovative ideas coming from such a wide range of libraries. Just like graphic novels themselves, the applications for this grant proved that there is no one size fits all way to incorporate these works into patron communities. We had applications from all over the country and from school, public, and academic libraries. This grant provided a fantastic opportunity for libraries that embrace graphic novels to continue to expand their impact.”

Nancy Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation says: "It has been very gratifying to work with the ALA in the development of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries. Will Eisner spent his lifetime working to prove the value of comic art narrative as a valid literary form and deeply hoped that comics and graphic novels would one day become a part of every library's collection. We thank the many librarians who have helped make these grants possible, those who have applied, and we congratulate the two 2014 winners."

About The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation
The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation fosters innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art and comics. It encourages others to continue and build upon the legacy of Will Eisner, who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. For more information about Will Eisner visit

About ALAEstablished in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. More information on the grant and the application process can be found on the ALA websiteRead on...

Posted on: July 18, 2014

Library Honored as Library of The Month

Library Honored as Library of The Month

July 16, 2014 (Helena, MT)—Your Lewis & Clark Library was featured by Little Pickle Press as Library of the Month on their website:
“It has been a very busy summer, and we are thrilled to be honored for what we do every day, provide the best possible library services to all of our patrons and visitors,” commented Lewis & Clark Library Director Judy Hart.

During June, 30, 635 people visited the Lewis & Clark Library and its Branch Libraries, which is about average for the Library. “We average around 30,000 people a month visiting our library system and utilizing our services,” explained Hart. “During the summer we see a lot of tourists coming through, wanting to check their email or find out what’s happening in the area; we really are a strong resource for visitors to the area as well as our patrons.”

Little Pickle Press announced their selection by posting their announcement on their Facebook page, making the honor a complete surprise to the Library staff. “We were surprised and happy to see the announcement,” stated Hart who went on to explain that her staff strives to provide the best possible service to everyone, everyday. “Each employee here loves their job and it is reflected in their interactions with the public. This really is a special library.”For more information on the Library and the services provided, log onto and Remember, There’s Always Something Going on @ Your Lewis & Clark LibraryRead on...

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Posted on: May 29, 2014

2014 Summer Reading Program

CRP Summer Reading Program

Fizz, Boom, READ @ Your Library!

May 23, 2014 (Helena, MT)—Experiment and Explore this summer at your Lewis & Clark Library! You can be a super scientist, celebrate space, or create a spark...whatever you chose to electrify your mind, remember that reading is elemental and if you power up with books you can explore and discover whole new worlds! The theme of this summer’s reading program is Fizz, Boom, READ! Each week during June and July, elementary school-aged children will be treated to interactive programs based during Tuesday Tales. Tuesday Tales takes place each week through July from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM in the Library’s Large Meeting Room. From magicians and storytellers to puppet shows and world dance, kids will be encouraged to explore their world through reading, a world where they can be anything and anywhere they want. Many of these programs will be repeated at our branch libraries in Augusta, East Helena, and Lincoln, so check our website at for a complete schedule and times.

For Pre-School aged children, Children’s Librarian Candice Morris hosts storytime three times a week on the Story Steps. Morris introduces young readers to the wonders of reading through a half-hour, interactive story session that brings books alive for the little ones. “To watch their eyes light up and get excited about books is the best part of my job,” explained Morris.

For Children ages birth through toddler (and their grownups), Books & Babies will continue on Monday’s through July. “Books & Babies offers a fun, informal social hour full of rhymes, songs, and play designed to encourage movement and get kids excited about the Library,” explained Morris. Books & Babies meets Mondays at 10:30 A.M. and 1:30 P.M. in the Large Meeting Room.

The Teen Scene this summer will explore reading through the theme “Spark a Reaction” with a host of programs and events designed to get middle school and high school students engaged in reading. Teen Services Librarian Heather Dickerson has a host of interactive and creative programs planned for the summer in addition to First Friday Movie nights, Teen Writers Lounge, Minecraft Hour, Mystery Library Theatre and much more.

The entire family is invited to participate in Four To Score. Simply read or listen to four books and fill out a score sheet. Turn in your completed score sheet at the Information Desk and select an awesome prize.

This will be the fifteenth summer that Montana libraries have participated in the Collaborative Summer Reading Program. While summer break is a time for relaxation, visiting family, and going to camp, it is also the time during which reading skills often decrease. In fact, according Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, many students fall behind on their reading skills during the summer break from school in what has been termed the “summer slide.”
To help counteract this phenomenon, and to ensure that students keep reading over the summer, public libraries across the nation have teamed up for the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP). CSLP is a grassroots consortium of states working together to provide high-quality summer reading program materials for libraries to provide summer reading programs for children.The CSLP began in 1987 when ten Minnesota regional library systems developed a summer library program for children, choosing a theme, creating artwork and selecting incentives that public libraries in the regions could purchase and use. The CSLP has grown to include 49 states as state libraries and systems continue to join and the CSLP continues to evolve. As the CSLP grows its guiding principle remains the same, librarians sharing ideas, expertise and costs to produce a high-quality summer reading program for children.
While the mission of the CSLP is to keep school age children reading all summer long, the Summer Reading Program at the Lewis & Clark Library is focused on getting the entire family to read during the summer. From Storytime for Preschoolers to Tuesday Tales for 1st thru 5th graders, and creative programs for Teens and Four-to-Score for the entire family, it is safe to say that the Summer Reading Program has something for everyone.A complete list of events and times is available on-line at and remember, There’s Always Something Going on @ Your Lewis & Clark Library!
June 17 Science Fun by Arch Ellwein10:30 AM in Helena and 1:30 PM in East Helena
Believe It or Not...It's Science!Arch presents hard-to-believe visual effects and an exciting introduction to Earth Science, electricity and magnetism. Special props include a REAL tooth from a 70 million years old Spinosaurus and a REAL meteorite. A real crowd pleaser.

June 24 Puppet Show by Markie Scholz
10:30 AM in Helena and 1:30 PM in East Helena June 25 Puppet Show by Markie Scholz
1:30 PM in Lincoln and 7:00 PM in AugustaMarkie Scholz is one of the founders of Dragons Are To Seldom Puppet Productions. She has been involved as a performer in all productions and workshops done by the Dragons throughout its more than 30 year history. She received a B.S. in English Eduction from the University of South Dakota in 1969. After teaching junior high school in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a year, Markie became the Educational Coordinator for the Head Start Program in Day, Roberts and Marshall Counties in South Dakota. She later served as the director of that program. In 1971, Dragons Are Too Seldom Puppet Productions was formed by Markie and her sister, Claire Scholz. In 1993, Markie received her MS degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Black Hills State University. For more than 30 years, the Dragons have traveled around the country performing anywhere there was a need, or a want for laughter.

July 1 The Noise Guy by Charlie Williams
10:30 AM in Helena and 1:30 PM in East HelenaJuly 2 The Noise Guy by Charlie Williams
1:30 PM in Lincoln and 7:00 PM in Augusta“This summer we are pleased to bring Charlie Williams, ‘the Noiseguy,’ back to the Library for some mud-slingin, noise-making fun!” announced Morris. Williams is a vocal sound impressionist who can imitate the sound of planes, trains, automobiles and much, much more! This talented performer is also a kids’ comedian, author, illustrator and onomatopoet. A former children’s librarian, Williams travels the country introducing noise into all his stories. He encourages even the most reluctant reader to make noise when they’re reading.

July 8 Daisy the Pig & Farmer Minor
10:30 AM in Helena and 1:30 PM in East HelenaJuly 9 Daisy the Pig & Farmer Minor
3:00 PM in Lincoln and 7:00 PM in AugustaDaisy and Farmer Minor perform “Pig Out on Reading” programs across the U.S. Farmer Minor does storytelling about Daisy's formative years (all true) with Farmer & Mrs. Minor. They share Daisy noises, give Daisy a treat, and talk about Daisy's pampered porcine life and about how Daisy I and II became such famous pigs. (all due to their love of “Pig Books” and Libraries). Farmer Minor brings his rocking chair, many of Daisy's newspaper articles on posters and of course, many of their favorite pig books. Daisy has the world's largest collection of “pig books.” Farmer Minor selects a book that the children can help read to Daisy. At the end of the program, following the Daisy pledge, all are able to pet Daisy. Photo opportunities are plentiful!

July 15 The Incredible Mr. E Magic Show
10:30 AM in Helena and 1:30 PM in East HelenaJuly 16 The Incredible Mr. E Magic Show
1:30 PM in Lincoln and 7:00 PM in AugustaEvery year, in conjunction with the Collaborative Reading Program Theme, “Mr. E” and Kyle Groves create a new library program. Every program is full of fun, comedy, color, music and magic. “Mr. E” and Kyle conceive, develop and present new routines along with a valuable reading and library message and everything is centered around a specific theme. In the past, they have created magic shows about Cows, Pirates, Fantasy, Circus, Wild West, Detectives, Bugs, Water, Be Creative and many other themes. They use tons of audience participation and are widely hailed for their amazing ability to interact with children. Their vast knowledge of the Art of Magic and many years of experience all help to make their programs a delight for allRead on...