Awards, Grants, Stipends and Scholarships

YALSA offers more than $150,000 in grants and awards to librarians and authors who serve young adults each year. Please click on the individual grant for application information. YALSA also sponsors one Spectrum Scholar and an Emerging Leader each year, using funds provided by the Friends of YALSA.

Members can also receive the YALSA Presidential Citation, which recognizes an individual or group for outstanding contribution to either YALSA or the profession of young adult librarianship, but does not include a monetary reward.

Annual Awards and Grants

YALSA Conference Grants

The two grants of $1,000 each are funded by Baker & Tyalor and are awarded to librarians who work for or directly with young adults in a public or school library or library agency to enable them to attend the Annual Conference for the first time. A third grant is funded by YALSA's Leadership Endowment and is the Dorothy Broderick Student Conference Scholarship.  It funds travel to the conference for one graduate student for up to $1,000.  Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1 each year.

BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant

This annual grant is funded by BWI and awards $1,000 for collection development to two YALSA members who represent a public library, and who work directly with young adults ages 12 to 18. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1 each year.

ABC-CLIO/Greenwood/YALSA  Service to Young Adults Achievement Award

This grant of $2,000 is funded by ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Publishing and recognizes the national contributions of a YALSA member who has demonstrated unique and sustained devotion in two or more of the following areas to young adult services: promoting literature or programming for young adults, conducting and publishing research about young adults, mentoring other professionals in the field, or for notable efforts in the work of the Young Adult Library Services Association.  The purpose of the cash award will be to enable the recipient to further his or her good work in the field of young adult librarianship. The award will next be given in 2014, with the applications due Dec. 1, 2013.

MAE Award for Best Literature Program for Teens

The annual MAE Award is designed to honor a member of YALSA who has developed an outstanding reading or literature program for young adults. The award provides $500 to the winner and an additional $500 to the winner's library or library agency. The award is made possible through the Margaret A. Edwards Trust. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1 each year.

Margaret A. Edwards Collection Development Grant

This grant awards $5,000 for a school or public library to use towards improving or expanding its teen collection. Funds may be used for print, non-print and/or digital materials. All personal YALSA members who represent a public library or school library are eligible to apply. Up to four grants will be awarded in 2014.  All applicants must be current personal members of ALA/YALSA at the time the application is submitted.  Applications must be submitted via the online form by December 1, 2014.  This grant is funded by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust.

Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA Research Grant

This annual grant of $1,000 is to provide seed money for small scale projects which will encourage research that responds to the YALSA Research Agenda. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1 each year.

Great Books Giveaway Competition

Each year the YALSA office receives approximately 3,000 newly published children's, young adult and adult books, videos, and CDs for review. YALSA and the cooperating publishers annually offer one year's worth of review materials as a contribution to up to 3 libraries in need. Applications must be received in the YALSA office by December 1st each year. The estimated value of this total collection is $48,000.

YALSA Volunteer of the Year Awards

The YALSA Volunteer of the Year Awards acknowledge the contributions of YALSA members who have demonstrated outstanding service to the mission, goals and work of YALSA during a given service year.  Awards are given out for:

  • Chair: leadership of an advisory board, jury, committee or task force
  • Appointed Member: contributions within an advisory board, jury, committee or task force
  • Group: work conducted as a whole by an advisory board, jury, committee or task force

Nominations accepted through Dec. 1 of each year.  The recognition includes a one year membership to YALSA and a commemorative certificate for each category's winner(s).  To nominate yourself, a group or an individual, please use this online form.

YALSA Writing Award

This award honors the best writing in YALSA’s blogs and journals. Prizes will be given for a winning article in each of the journals and blogs.  As of 2011 they are: Young Adult Library Services, the Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults, the YALSAblog, and The Hub: YALSA’s YA Literature Blog.

Midwinter Paper Presentation

YALSA's Past Presidents will sponsor a paper presentation at Midwinter Meeting each year on trends impacting young adult services. The selected presenter will receive up to $1,500 to defray registration and travel costs.


Books for Teens

Books for Teens’ mission is to empower the nation’s at-risk teens to achieve more by providing them with free high quality, new, age-appropriate books. Funds raised through Books for Teens will be distributed to institutions in communities with a high level of poverty, where librarians and library workers will purchase and distribute new books, encourage teens to get library cards and provide teens with reading-focused events and activities.

Summer Reading Resources Grant

Through generous support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, YALSA will grant 20 libraries $1,000 each to fund reading-focused summer reading programs for and with teens.

For more information, please visit the funding & grant page on the Summer Reading & Learning site

Summer Intern Program Grant

Through generous support from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, YALSA will grant 20 libraries $1,000 each to support teen interns for summer reading programs. 

For more information, please visit the funding & grant page on the  Summer Reading & Learning site

Scholarships, Stipends, and Fellowships

Funding for YALSA's sponsorship of the Spectrum Scholars and Emerging Leaders programs come from the Friends of YALSA. Funding for the Young Adult Literature Symposium Stipends come from the William C. Morris Endowment. YALSA offers other contests and stipends for various initiatives each year.

Board Fellow Program

Each year YALSA will sponsor one Fellow to attend conferences and work on the board to gain leadership skills and learn about association governance.

Great Ideas Contest

Submit your great ideas in support of YALSA's key goals, and you could win $250 cash.

National Library Legislative Day Stipend

YALSA’s YA Advocacy Travel Stipend will enable two qualified recipients to receive up to $1,000 to attend ALA’s 2014 National Library Legislative Day, which will be held in Washington, D.C., May 5-6, 2014. Learn more about National Library Legislative Day. Submit your application here by February 1. 

Spectrum Scholarship

Each year, YALSA sponsors one Spectrum Scholar. Established in 1997, the Spectrum Scholarship Program is ALA's national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future. YALSA sponsors a Spectrum Scholar with an interest in serving youth ages 12-18 in a library setting. Applications are accepted October to March each year. Listen to an interview with Linda Braun, YALSA past president, and Hoan-Vu Do, YALSA's 2010-2011 Spectrum Scholar at YouTube.  You can view a list of current and past Spectrum Scholars who were sponsored by YALSA on this page.

Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders program enables newer librarians from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups; network with peers; gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. It puts them on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership. YALSA sponsors two Emerging Leaders each year. Applications are due July 31 each year.  A list of current and past YALSA-sponsored Emerging Leaders is available on this page.

Young Adult Literature Symposium Stipends

In even years, YALSA holds the Young Adult Literature Symposium and provides up to two stipends for attendance during a symposium year. Both stipends offer up to $1,000 in funds for travel and registration. One stipend will be awarded to a library worker who works directly with young adults, with one to ten years' experience and the other will be awarded to a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited MLS program at the time of the symposium. Applications for both the student stipend and the worker stipend must be submitted online by June 15th.

Other Awards

YALSA Presidential Citation

The YALSA Presidential Citation highlights excellence among members of YALSA as well as library supporters who have provided outstanding service to the association or the profession of young adult librarianship. The citation my be given to an individual or group at any time.

Teens & Libraries Summit Participation & Stipend Application

As part of its year-long National Forum on Libraries and Teens project, YALSA will host a Teens & Libraries Summit Jan. 23-24, 2013, in Seattle.  The Summit will feature speakers, panels and small group discussion to examine the current state of library services for and with young adults, and to explore how library services may need to evolve to meet the needs of 21st century adolescents.  Funds provided by IMLS will be used to cover the cost of travel and related expenses for 15 applicants who wish to participate in the Summit.  Key stakeholders from the areas of libraries, education, technology, adolescent development and the for-profit and nonprofit sectors are encouraged to apply by Nov. 1, 2012.  The 15 accepted applicants will join with approximately 35 other stakeholders at the face-to-face Summit.  At the conclusion of the year-long Forum, YALSA will produce a white paper which will provide direction on how library services for and with teens needs to adapt and potentially change to better meet the needs of 21st century teens.  To learn more about the National Forum, read the initial press release.

Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults

YALSA will select up to twenty-five innovative teen programs from all types of libraries to feature at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference and to include in a sixth edition of Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults. Successful applications will focus on programs that address new teen needs or interests, or that address ongoing teen needs or interests in an innovative or unique way.  The top five programs will receive cash awards of $1000 each. Up to twenty “best of the rest” programs will receive cash awards of $250.  Each award will be presented to the applicant's institution for use with teen programs and/or for the applicant’s travel to the 2013 conference to participate in the YALSA President’s Program.