For immediate release | January 11, 2011

Why I Need My Library teen video contest launches at ALA Midwinter Meeting

SAN DIEGO– As part of her presidential initiatives, ALA President Roberta Stevens launched a video contest for teens at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

Why I Need My Library, which runs through April 18, encourages teens ages 13 to 18 to create original videos on why they think libraries are needed now more than ever.
Teens will submit one- to three-minute videos on YouTube. The videos can be live-action, animation, machinima or use a combination of techniques, and teens can work in groups of up to six. Full contest guidelines and information on how to enter can be found on ALA’s advocacy website,
Prizes will be awarded in two age categories – ages 13 to15 and 16 to18 – to a school or local public library selected by the winners. In each age category, two second place finalists will receive $2,000 each for their selected library and three third place finalists will receive $1,000 each for their selected library. The winning contestant or group of contestants from each age category will receive $3,000 for their selected library. In addition, each member of the winning group will receive a $50 gift card to an online bookseller.
Winning videos will be showcased on ALA websites and at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans (June 23-28).
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), the Public Library Association (PLA) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), all divisions of ALA, are co-sponsors of the Why I Need My Library contest.
Questions about the contest can be directed to
Why I Need My Library is one of two presidential initiatives that kick off at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The other, Our Authors, Our Advocates: Authors Speak Out for Libraries, calls on authors to highlight the key roles libraries and library staff play in the economic, social and educational fabric of our nation. More information is available at


Megan Humphrey