YALSA’s 2014 Great Books Giveaway provides more than $40,000 in materials to three libraries

For Immediate Release
Wed, 03/12/2014

Contact:

Jaclyn Finneke
Communications Manager
Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
jfinneke@ala.org

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), named Yakima Nation Library in Toppenish, Wash., the recipient of its annual Great Books Giveaway. The libraries will receive more than $20,000 in books, audiobooks and other materials donated to YALSA from publishers and producers in 2013. Due to the large volume of donations this past year, YALSA was able to name two additional runner-up libraries; Hilltop Pregnant Minors High School in San Francisco and Covington Independent School District in Covington, Texas. The estimated value of the entire collection being donated to all three libraries is more than $40,000, with shipping of the titles courtesy of the Morris Endowment.

The city of Toppenish is located east of the Yakama Indian Nation’s headquarters in the eastern part of the Reservation. The achievement gap with regard to education and employment is low among Native American youth nationwide. The majority of the Yakama students come from low-income, at-risk families, most of which are at least two grade levels behind their same-age peers. If Native American students have not already dropped out of traditional high school, they are at risk of doing so. By receiving these books, Yakima Nation Library will help students to get their hands on new titles that could be utilized for research or for leisure at home and school.

“We are thrilled to the recipient of the Great Books Giveaway, as the Yakama Nation Library has identified several gaps within the overall collection,” said Merida Kipp, library administrator for Yakama Nation Library. “Expanding our Young Adult collection with additional titles will meet the needs of our Young Adult patrons as well as offer an alternative format for visual learners. In order to draw more patrons to the library, it is essential to keep the materials up to date.”

Hilltop School's Pregnant Minors Program enables pregnant and parenting teens to: progress toward completion of their secondary education; to make responsible and informed decisions; to have healthy pregnancies and healthy families; to become responsible, effective parents; and to become contributing, well-adjusted, self-sufficient members of their communities. With no current collection, the books from the Giveaway will provide a solid foundation of new, up to date and relevant titles these young women can use for class research as well as reading for pleasure. 

Covington Independent School District serves a rural community where students have the disadvantage of a low social economic standard. The need for current titles is overwhelming, with students at all levels being at a disadvantage when it comes to research. The new books will give all of Covington’s youth the advantage to set their dreams high for the future, as well as help achieve those dreams. Also, while students can enjoy and learn from updated titles, the community will also benefit with this grant. The city has no public library but community members are welcome to use the school library resources.

The application form and information for next year’s Great Books Giveaway are available in the Grants and Awards for Members section of the YALSA website, www.ala.org/yalsaApplications must be received in the YALSA office by Dec. 1, 2014.

The YALSA Great Books Giveaway Jury members are: Chair Victoria L. Russo, Bethlehem Public Library, Delmar, N.Y.; Nancy L. Baumann, University of Missouri SISLT, Columbia, Mo.; Kelly Chaney, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Ark.; Heather Johnson, Las Vegas; and Jessica M. Moore, Honolulu, Hawaii.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens.  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.