For immediate release | February 26, 2013

YALSA’s 2013 Great Books Giveaway provides more than $40,000 in materials to libraries in Louisiana, Maryland and Texas

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), named Allen Parish Libraries in Oberlin, La., the recipient of its annual Great Books Giveaway. The libraries will receive more than $20,000 in books, audiobooks and other materials donated to YALSA from publishers and producers in 2012. Due to the large volume of donations this past year, YALSA was able to name two additional runner-up libraries; The Foundation Schools in Largo and Gaithersburg, Md., and John B. Hood Junior High School in Odessa, Texas. The estimated value of the entire collection being donated to all three libraries is more than $40,000.

Allen Parish Libraries had no teen collection prior to 2012 to speak of. Space has been set aside for after school teen activities such as crafts, video gaming and board games with dedicated computers, gaming equipment and specialized furniture. Books from this giveaway will be used to build teen collections in three facilities and make available current information in the nonfiction collection.

“The Great Books Giveaway will meet a definite need for young adult materials in Allen Parish, so were extremely excited to receive the news that we had won,” said Ashley Weaver, librarian for Allen Parish. “Our libraries will be able to put these items to good use! This major contribution to our growing collections will enable us to have a positive impact upon the lives of young adults in our community by providing them with a variety of resources that are relevant to their needs and interests.”

The Foundation Schools is a special education school with two campuses. The public school systems refer students who have been identified as having an emotional disability and have exhausted public school resources. More than 85 percent live in low-income households, or are being cared for in group homes or foster care. The books from the Giveaway will help further the Schools’ overall goal of promoting learning and success in life for all their students.

The John B. Hood Junior High School Library collection has an approximate age of 30 years old with the nonfiction collection having an approximate age of 31 years. In an effort to keep an adequate amount of books on the shelf and amidst budgetary concerns, the staff was unable to appropriately weed and update the collection. The new books they will receive from the giveaway will be a welcome addition for the young adults.

The application form and information for next year’s Great Books Giveaway are available in the Grants and Awards for Members section of the YALSA website, Applications must be received in the YALSA office by Dec. 1, 2013.

The YALSA Great Books Giveaway Jury members are: Chair Megan Garrett, Blue Springs, Mo.; Alicia Blowers, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School, Alexandria, Va.; Kelly Brocklehurst, Albuquerque, N.M.; Carolyn Dietz, St. Louis (Mo.) Public Library; and Amanda Fensch, ITT Technical Institute, Columbus, Ohio.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or email,


Jaclyn Finneke

Communications Manager

Young Adult Library Services Association

1-800-545-2433 ext.2128