ALA awards 237 Great Stories CLUB grants

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications, PPO



For Immediate Release

January 6, 2009

Troubled teens targeted through reading and discussion program

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) are announcing that 237 libraries were selected to receive Great Stories CLUB grants, which will support book discussion programs targeting troubled teens. Among those selected to receive grants, 53 sites will additionally receive small cash grants to support program-related expenses. Funding was provided for this program by Oprah's Angel Network.

To view the full list of selected libraries, visit ALA will begin accepting applications for the next round of Great Stories CLUB grants in September 2009.

Launched in 2005, the Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a reading and discussion program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives. Participating libraries will receive 11 sets of three theme-related books to provide to members of a book club. They will also have access to a variety of online resources, designed to help plan and implement programming. All types of libraries located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens (such as juvenile detention centers or alternative high schools) in the United States and its territories were eligible to apply.

YALSA's Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee selected "Breaking Boundaries" as the 2009 Great Stories Club theme, along with the following titles:

  • “Luna” by Julie Anne Peters (Little, Brown Young Readers, 2004)
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown Young Readers, 2007)
  • “Black and White” by Paul Volponi (Viking Juvenile, 2005)

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has an exemplary track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library® and other programs. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming ( More than 30,000 libraries and at least 10 million individuals have participated in library programming initiatives supported by the Public Programs Office. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit