Great Stories CLUB Award Eligibility and Guidelines

About the Great Stories CLUB

The Great Stories CLUB is a reading and discussion program that targets underserved, troubled teen populations. The program reaches teens through books that are relevant to their lives, inviting them to read and keep the books, and encourages them to consider and discuss each title with a group of their peers. It seeks to show that reading can be a source of pleasure, a tool for self-exploration, and a meaningful way to connect to the wider world. Its ultimate goal is to inspire young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading.

The program is built on partnerships between libraries and a variety of organizations that serve troubled teens, including juvenile justice facilities, drug rehabilitation centers, nonprofits serving teen parents, alternative high schools, agencies serving teenaged foster children, shelters serving homeless and runaway youth, and other agencies.


  • Applications will be accepted from all types of libraries (public, school, academic and special) in the United States and its territories.
  • Unless the applicant library is located within an organization that serves troubled or at-risk teens (such as an alternative high school or residential treatment facility), the library must work with a partner organization.
  • All other applicant libraries must work with a partner organization that serves troubled teens in order to be considered. Possible partner organizations include but are not limited to juvenile justice facilities, drug rehabilitation centers, nonprofits serving teen parents, alternative high schools, agencies serving teenaged foster children, and shelters serving homeless and runaway youth. Please contact if you have a question about partner eligibility.
  • Institutions that provide services to troubled teen populations are encouraged to contact their local library, and create a partnering relationship with the library as the applicant.
  • Individuals and organizations other than libraries are not eligible to apply.
  • Ineligible applications will not be reviewed.
  • Repeat applicants, including winners, are eligible and encouraged to apply. Previous award recipients that have not submitted a final report to ALA however will not be considered.

Online Application

Applications for Round IV will be accepted from September 13 through November 19 of 2010. View the online application instructions.

Program Requirements

Libraries selected to participate in the Great Stories CLUB will be required to do the following:

  • Each library must hold a minimum of three book discussion programs with participation by 6–10 teens (ages 13 and up).  The programming period is from February 1 through August 31, 2011.
  • Each library will present a plan for implementing the book discussion programs (in cooperation with their program partner, if applicable).
  • Up to one copy of each book may be retained for use by the book discussion leader and one copy may remain in the library collection.
  • The libraries must supply the remaining books to participating teens to keep. The books will not revert to the library collection, but be a gift to the participating teens.
  • The library must complete an online final program report form; for Round IV winners, this form must be completed no later than September 30, 2011.

Applying for Multiple Grants

Applications will be accepted on behalf of multiple libraries and/or discussion programs. For example, an application may be submitted for:

  • multiple branch libraries within a public library system, each working with an appropriate community partner;
  • different programs run by the same library; (each program with its own community partner)
  • multiple libraries within a state or regional correctional system

To be considered for multiple grants, you must complete the Additional Recipient Libraries portion of the online application. Successful applicants will receive one Great Stories CLUB grant (set of 33 books total) per Recipient Library listed. With questions about applying on behalf of multiple libraries or programs, please contact

Award Details

Up to 150 libraries will be selected to receive the following:

  • 33 books (11 copies of each of the three titles)
  • Supplementary materials including tip sheets, discussion questions, related reading lists and additional online resources
  • Access to an electronic discussion list for participating librarians

Please note: Up to 25 libraries will also be selected to receive small grants ($100, $150 or $200) to support program-related expenses. If you would like to be considered for a small grant, please complete the optional Budget Narrative area of the online application.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Quality and completeness of program description (including proposed dates, information about the target audience, plans to recruit teen participants, etc.)
  • Evidence of a workable and appropriate partnership (if applicable)
  • Target audience need

To be considered for a small cash grant, libraries must complete the budget narrative statement within the online application. Please include how much money is being requested ($100, $150 or $200), how the funds will be used, and why these uses are important to the success of your Great Stories CLUB program. Cash grants will be awarded based on need, as well as the overall contribution that funds will make to the program.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of librarians, in collaboration with the staff of ALA’s Public Programs Office and YALSA. Only complete applications will be reviewed.

Award Notices

Libraries that apply for the Great Stories CLUB will be notified via email and/or letter regarding the success of their applications on December 20, 2010. Books and cash grants (if applicable) will be shipped by January 4, 2011.

Use of Books

Books must be distributed to participating youth to keep. One copy may be given to the book discussion leader, and one copy may remain in the library collection. In the event that program attendance is low, the library must work with their partner organization to gift any remaining books to teens. Books may not be sold or shipped back to ALA.

Reporting Requirements

Round IV winners must complete an online final program report form by September 30, 2011. Links to a sample final report form can be found on the project directors resource page.

Award Administration Timeline

Application Period
Sept. 13–Nov.19, 2010

Grant Notification
Dec. 20, 2010

Book Shipping
Jan. 4, 2011

Discussions Held
Feb. 1–August 31, 2011

Final Report Due
September 30, 2011


Please contact with any questions.