YALSA’s 2019 Great Books Giveaway provides more than $30,000 in materials to libraries in New York and Saipan

For Immediate Release
Fri, 02/15/2019


Anna Lam

Communications Specialist

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA


CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), named Tilden Campus Library and the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library as the recipients of its annual Great Books Giveaway. Each library will receive a share of more than $30,000 in books, audiobooks and other materials donated to YALSA from publishers and producers in 2018.

The Tilden Campus Library located in Brooklyn, New York, serves three public high schools: Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School, It Takes a Village Academy, and Cultural Academy for the Arts and Sciences. The Tilden Campus Library serves a body of 1,216 students.  Approximately 75 percent of the student body is economically disadvantaged with a portion of students having emigrated from the Caribbean. Literacy is a struggle for the students, with a majority of students not reading on grade level. Due to limited resources and funds, the library has been neglected for the past few years leaving the collection outdated. The current administration of the three schools see the value of the library, and are currently renovating the space. The goal of the school librarian is to expand the collection and to create an exciting space where students can grow as readers.

"I have been brought on to re-ignite the library program, but funding is incredibly tight, and I can only afford about 500 books for a population of 1,216,” said Ashley Hawkins, school librarian at the Tilden Campus Library. “Having these materials would be an enormous boost to our collection and would make a difference in what our students have the option to read."

Located close to 6,000 miles from the continental United States, The Joeten-Kiyu Public Library serves the village of Susupe in Saipan. The Joeten-Kiyu Public Library serves a population of 52,263, with 42.22% of the population aged 24 years or younger. In October 2018, Super Typhoon Yutu hit the island, devastating much of the island’s infrastructure. The storm destroyed 462 homes, leaving over 1,000 residents homeless. The library was also affected, with the storm ripping a hole through the ceiling of the library and destroying 20% of the library’s young adult collection and the entire young adult collection housed in the Bookmobile. The Joeten-Kiyu Public Library has rebuilt and is working on building programs and services for the teens they serve.

On receiving the Great Books Giveaway, Erlinda Naputi, library director at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library, stated, "The Joeten-Kiyu Public Library serves as one of the main sources of access to information for the island. Receiving these books would help the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library adhere to its library goals of increasing literacy in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands."

The application form for the Great Books Giveaway is available in the Grants and Awards section of the YALSA website. Applications must be received by Dec. 1, 2019.

The YALSA Great Books Giveaway Jury members are: Chair, Melissa Malanuk, Queens Library, Queens, NY; Alexandra Scott Duncan, Asheville, N.C.; Erin Hoopes, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; Kiera O’Shea Vargas, Drexel University, Valdosta, GA; Rebecca Weber, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.