For immediate release | December 19, 2017

Libraries invited to apply for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Great Stories Club pilot program for underserved youth

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) invites libraries to apply for a pilot of the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Great Stories Club (GSC), a thematic reading and discussion program series that will engage underserved teens through literature-based library outreach programs and racial healing work. The TRHT GSC is supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

An expansion of ALA’s long-standing GSC program model, the TRHT GSC will feature books that explore the coming-of-age experience for young people in historically marginalized groups. The TRHT GSC is a part of the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts, a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.

Visit the project guidelines and apply online by Feb. 16, 2018. Potential applicants may register for a free Jan. 12 webinar to learn more about the pilot program and its requirements.

Up to 25 selected libraries will work with small groups of teens to read and discuss three titles — selected by librarians and humanities scholars to resonate with reluctant readers facing difficult challenges like detention, incarceration, addiction, academic probation, poverty, and homelessness — on the theme “Growing Up Brave on the Margins.”

Participating libraries must host at least three book discussion programs and at least one interactive racial healing session, led by a racial healing practitioner familiar with the Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT framework and racial healing approach. Programming must take place between May and October 2018.

Featured titles will include “Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona; “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas; and “MARCH: Book One” by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell.

Participating libraries will receive:

  • 11 copies of each of the three selected titles (10 to gift to participants, one for the discussion leader/library collection)
  • A $300 programming stipend
  • Access to a racial healing practitioner who is engaged with the Kellogg Foundation’s TRHT framework and racial healing approach
  • Travel and accommodation expenses paid for one library staff member to attend a project orientation workshop, April 19-20, 2018, in Chicago; training will cover humanities content for the selected titles, best practices for leading discussion groups, an overview of the TRHT process, and an interactive session led by a racial healing practitioner
  • Additional training, resources and support

Applicant libraries must either be located within an organization that serves under-resourced or at-risk teens (e.g., alternative high schools, juvenile detention facilities) or work in partnership with an organization that serves that teenage population. For examples of acceptable partner organizations, visit the TRHT GSC Resources page.

The TRHT Great Stories Club will be administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in partnership with ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the ALA Great Stories Club

A project of the American Library Association (ALA), the Great Stories Club (GSC) is a reading and discussion program model that targets underserved, troubled teen populations. Launched in 2006, the GSC has received funding from Oprah’s Angel Network, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation, bringing literary reading and discussion programming to more than 800 libraries and 30,000 young adults. The project seeks to inspire teens to consider "big questions" about the world around them and their place in it, affecting how they view themselves as thinkers and creators; establish important connections between underserved youth, their public library and community support agencies; and contribute to improved literacy and changed, positive attitudes toward reading.


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office