Books for Teens Application

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. Visit Books for Teens Facebook page for additional news and updates.

Download the application (Word doc).


Each application will be judged on the basis of:

  • The degree of need in your community. (20 points)
  • The degree of need by your institution. (20 points)
  • Your plan for how materials will be evaluated, purchased and distributed to the young adult population. Describe the type of materials you will purchase and how those particular materials meet the unique needs of the teens in your community.  Funds may only be used to purchase reading materials.  (20 points)
  • Your plan for how the institution will promote young adult registration for library cards and encourage regular library usage. (20 points)
  • The completeness and clarity of your application. (20 points)

A total of 100 points is possible.  Each entry will be rated by this point system, and winning applications will have the highest total number of points compared to other applications in the pool. YALSA’s Books for Teens Jury will judge the applications on a rolling basis, and select winners as funding becomes available.  The amount of the financial award may vary based on donations received, but are expected to be in the range of $500 to $1,000.  Your application will be kept on file for one year.


  1. Applicants must be personal or organizational members of YALSA.
  2. Completed applications can be submitted year-round on a rolling basis.
  3. The application must be signed by: 1) the applicant and 2) the director of the public library, the superintendent of schools, the building-level administrator or the director of the institution.  Electronic signatures work fine for this portion.
  4. The application materials must be submitted via email to . Applications must be sent electronically; hard copies will not be accepted. All materials, including the Application Form, must be combined as one document.  Attachments must be named the applicant’s last name, underscore, the name of the grant.  For example: YourLastName_Books4Teens.doc.
  5. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  6. Winning applicants must agree to submit a final report & photo(s) for YALSA’s web site.
  7. Previous winners are not eligible.

Send Applications to

Address Questions to 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4390