Each year, the YALSA office receives approximately 3,000 newly published books, videos, CD's and audiocassettes, materials that have been targeted primarily towards young adults. Publishers and producers submit copies for selection committees to review and nominate. After the ALA Midwinter Meeting (when committees select their annual lists), these materials need to be removed from the YALSA office to make room for the next year's publications.
The YALSA Board of Directors believes many libraries that serve young adults would benefit by receiving this collection of materials. YALSA and the cooperating publishers are therefore offering one year's worth of review materials as a contribution to up to three libraries in need through this application process. Applicants must demonstrate the following:
- Why the collection is needed in their community.
- Why the collection is needed in their institution.
- How acquiring the collection will help them better serve the youth of their community.
- That the library's commitment to intellectual freedom and equity of access for young adults is supported by an up-to-date, board-approved collection development policy which is based upon the guidelines in the Intellectual Freedom Manual (ALA, 1996) and/or Censorship and Selection: Issues and Answers for Schools by Henry Reichman (ALA, 2001).
Each application will be judged on the basis of:
- The degree of need in the community. (20 points)
- The degree of need of the school, public library, or institution where the library is located. (20 points)
- The degree of improvement of service to young adults in the community. (20 points).
- The degree of clarity and effectiveness of the statement of need. (20 points)
- An estimate of the age of the nonfiction collection. (10 points)
- The currency and completeness of the institution’s board approved collection development policy, including the materials selection policy, with procedures for handling challenges. (10 points)
A total of 100 points is possible. Each entry will be rated by this point system and the winning application will be the one with the highest total number of points. The Great Books Giveaway Jury will judge the applications.
- Applicants must be personal or organizational members of YALSA.
- Applicants must agree to accept all the materials received at the YALSA office, with the understanding that this collection is material targeted primarily for young adults, ages 12-18.
- An electronic copy of the current, board-approved collection development policy must be submitted with the application (the document needs to be uploaded).
- Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- Previous winners are not eligible.
Application & Deadline
Announcement of Winners
The recipients of the Great Books Giveaway will be announced by a press release each February.
For further information contact YALSA at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4390, or via e-mail at YALSA@ala.org.
- 2020 - Maricopa (Arizona) Public Library
- 2019 - Tilden Campus Library (Brooklyn, New York) and the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library (Saipan)
- 2018 - Purvis (Mississippi) High School, the Suffolk (Virginia) Public Library System, and the Oak Park (Michigan) Public Library (press release)
- Watch a brief video featuring the Purvis High School winner
- 2017 - Tyler (Texas) Public Library; East Peoria (Illinois) Community High School; and Shawnee (Oklahoma) High School
- 2016 - Franklin Pierce School District in Tacoma (1st), Washington; Ontario (California) High School (2nd); and Washington County Public Library in Chipley, Florida (3rd)
- 2015 - Lorain City High School in Ohio (1st); Civic Center Court Secondary School in San Francisco (2nd); Northwoods Middle School in North Charleston, South Carolina (3rd)
- 2014 - Yakima Nation Library in Toppenish, Wash.(1st); Hilltop Pregnant Minors High School in San Francisco (2nd); and Covington Independent School District in Covington, Texas (3rd)
- 2013 - Allen Parish Libraries in Oberlin, La. (1st); The Foundation Schools in Largo and Gaithersburg, Md (2nd); John B. Hood Junior High School in Odessa, Texas (3rd)
- 2012 - Southeast Arkansas Regional Library, Monticello (1st); Jefferson High School, Edgewater, Colo. (2nd); Barton Library, El Dorado, Ark. (3rd)
- 2011 - Oakhurst Middle School, Clarksdale, Miss. (1st); Colleton County High School, Walterboro, S.C. (2nd); Fletcher (Okla.) Public School (3rd)
- 2010 - Benjamin Banneker High School in Atlanta, Ga.(1st); Conley-Caraballo High School, New Haven Unified School District in Hayward, Calif. (2nd); Farmington (N.M.) High School Library (3rd).
- 2009 - Lincoln County Public Libraries in Libby, Mont. (1st); Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga.; and Jackson District Library in Jackson, Mich.
- 2008 - Margaret Green Junior High School (MGJHS) in Cleveland, Miss. (1st) and Camden County High School, N.C. (2nd)
- 2007 - New Orleans Public Library
- 2006 - Barbara Chace Library at the Forman School in Litchfield, Connecticut
- 2005 - Hardee Senior High School Library, Wauchula, Fla.
- 2004 - Tri-Community Library, Caldwell County, Texas
- 2003 - Harvin Clarendon County (S.C.) Library
- 2002 - Bell County (Ky.) Public Library System Bookmobile
- 2001 - Hialeah (Fla.) Public Libraries
- 2000 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, Lexington, Ky.