New round of Great Stories CLUB grants available

Contact: Angela Thullen
Program Officer, Communications, PPO

For Immediate Release
September 9, 2008

Book club grant targets underserved, troubled teen populations

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office (PPO) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) are now accepting applications for the latest round of Great Stories CLUB grants.  Electronic applications will be accepted through Nov. 14 at Funding was provided for this program by Oprah's Angel Network. 

Launched in 2005, the Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a reading and discussion program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives.  All types of libraries (public, school, academic and special) located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens in the United States and its territories are eligible to apply for a Great Stories Club grant.

After following the application process, 230 libraries will be selected to develop a book discussion program for teens based on the three theme-related titles and will be given copies of the books to share with each participant. Participating libraries will also receive access to an online toolkit to support the program, including sample discussion questions, recommended titles for further reading, downloadable bookmark art and other resources. Small cash grants ($100-$200) will be awarded to up to 25 sites for the support of program-related expenses.

YALSA's Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee selected "Breaking Boundaries" as the 2009 Great Stories Club theme, along with the following titles:

  • “Luna” by Julie Ann Peters (Little, Brown Young Readers, 2004)
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown Young Readers, 2007)
  • “Black and White” by Paul Volponi (Viking Juvenile, 2005)

For more information on the Great Stories CLUB, including guidelines, book descriptions, application instructions and a link to the online application, visit

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has an exemplary track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library® and other programs. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming (  More than 10,000 libraries and at least 10 million individuals have participated in library programming initiatives supported by the Public Programs Office.  For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit