ALA awards 265 Great Stories CLUB grants

Contact: Angela Thullen

Program Officer, Communications


For Immediate Release

January 12, 2010

Reading and discussion program targets troubled teens

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced that 265 libraries were selected to receive Great Stories CLUB grants, which will support book discussion programs targeting troubled teens. Among those selected to receive grants, 50 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 and their partner organizations, visit Programs will take place January through May, 2010. Since 2005, more than 28,000 books have been distributed to 856 Great Stories Clubs, sparking conversations among teen readers in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

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 "New Horizons" as the Great Stories Club theme, along with the following titles:

  • “One of Those Hideous Books Where The Mother Dies” by Sonya Sones (Simon & Schuster, 2005)
  • “The Afterlife” by Gary Soto (Harcourt, 2005)
  • “The Rules of Survival” by Nancy Werlin (Speak, 2008)

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,

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, Live! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support the creation of high-quality cultural programs. For more information on the ALA Public Programs Office, visit

Oprah’s Angel Network works around the globe to give people the chance to live their best lives. The Angel Network is a public charity that awards grants to organizations that are improving access to education, protecting basic rights, creating communities of support and developing the leaders of tomorrow. To learn more about Oprah’s Angel Network visit: