Applications Open for ALA Gaming Grant; Comics Plus Records Over 1 Million Checkouts in 2022 | News Bites

Applications open for ALA's annual "Game On" gaming grant program; LibraryPass announces more than one million checkouts in Comics Plus in 2022; 2023 Audie Awards finalists; and Lee & Low's New Voices Award winners in News Bites.

ALA has opened applications for its annual "Game On" gaming grant program; LibraryPass logged more than one million checkouts in Comics Plus in 2022; 2023 Audie Awards finalists revealed; and Lee & Low announces New Voices Award winners in News bites.

Gaming grant applications open

Applications are now open for ALA’s Games and Gaming Round Table’s annual “Game On!” grant program that offers $500 to help libraries develop gaming programs or collections for their patrons.

ALA members employed at a public, school, academic, or special library in the United States or Canada are eligible. Libraries must illustrate a plan for a sustainable gaming program created with the funds, institutional support for the program, and financial need.

The deadline for applications is March 15, and the grant winner will be announced at GameRT’s “ALA Play” event at the 2023 ALA Annual conference in Chicago in June. 

Comics Plus tops one million checkouts

LibraryPass announced that Comics Plus had more than one million checkouts of digital comics, graphic novels, and manga in 2022. The milestone comes in LibraryPass's third year exclusively serving schools and libraries.

The Top 20 titles included franchises like "Avatar: The Last Airbender," "Big Nate," "Minecraft," "Sonic the Hedgehog," and "Stranger Things," along with popular creator Svetlana Chmakova ( "Berrybrook Middle School," "Dramacon," "The Weirn Books").

Traditional manga was popular with Comics Plus’ older teens and adult readers — dominated by a broad range of Kodansha series, including “Attack on Titan,” “Cells at Work!,” “Fairy Tail,” and “A Kiss, For Real.”  Immedium’s The Discovery of Anime & Manga was popular with younger readers who wanted to learn more about manga itself.

The top publishers in the Comics Plus collection in 2022 were: Dark Horse, Andrews McMeel, Yen Press, IDW, BOOM! Studios, Kodansha, Capstone, Tokyopop, Papercutz, and Lerner.

Lee & Low announces New Voices Award winners

Lee & Low has announced the winners of its 23rd annual New Voices Award. Carren Jao of Los Angeles, CA, is the 2022 New Voices Award Winner for her picture book manuscript The Shape of Love, about a mother staying connected to her family by sending treats and supplies back to the Philippines through the tradition of balikbayan boxes. Tyla LaGoy of Eugene, OR, is the 2022 New Voices Award Honor, for picture book manuscript SPEAK, about a child learning to speak a new language. The story is inspired by the writer's own experience learning her tribal language, Chinuk Wawa.

The New Voices Award, established in 2000, is given annually by Lee & Low Books, Inc., for picture book manuscripts by writers of color or Indigenous/Native writers who have not previously had a children’s book published.

Audio Publishers Association names finalists for the Audie Awards

Audio Publishers Association announced the 2023 Audie Awards finalists in 26 categories. The awards recognize “distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment.” The middle grade finalists are:

Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Performed by Julian Rhind-Tutt, Pixie Davies, Katherine Kingsley, Julian Clary, Jacqueline Boatswain, Kevin McNally, Adjothea Andoh, Adrian Schiller, Heather Nicol, William Parker, and Nicole Davis. Published by HarperAudio

The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander. Narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Published by Hachette Audio

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat. Narrated by Sura Siu. Published by OrangeSky Audio

The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill. Narrated by Suzanne Toren. Published by Hachette Audio

Stuntboy, in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds. Narrated by Guy Lockard, Nile Bullock, Angel Pean, James Fouhey, Soneela Nankani, Leon Nixon, Chanté McCormick, Lamarr Gulley, and DePre Owens. Published by Simon & Schuster Audio

Winners will be announced at the annual gala on March 28.

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