YALSA's Great Ideas Contest--Inactive

This grant is not currently being offered.

YALSA needs your Great Ideas – and you could win $250 in cash! We’re looking for creative assistance from YOU to help YALSA achieve its goals. Each year, the contest focuses on YALSA’s Strategic Plan. Great ideas like yours will help YALSA achieve the goals of:

  • Advocacy & Activism
  • Research & Documentation of Best Practice
  • Continuous Learning & Professional Development
  • Member Recruitment & Engagement
  • Capacity Building & Organizational Development

Who Can Apply?

All current YALSA members are encouraged to apply.

Planning For Your Proposal

The first step is to review the Strategic Plan including the objectives and strategies. Ideas must fit under a goal area and objective. Before preparing an application, make sure that YALSA is not already implementing your idea. Consider visiting the YALSA website to look at the various projects and initiatives already in place or in the works.

Proposal Guidelines

  1. Complete the online application (Word doc). Be sure to include a full specific description of your idea including your objectives, the benefit to members, and how it can best be implemented by YALSA.
  2. Explain how this idea specifically fits under YALSA’s Strategic Plan goals and objectives.
  3. List potential expenses that YALSA would take on and estimate the total cost. Consider all costs including staffing, printing, marketing, technology, and so on
  4. The proposal is evaluated on the following criteria: 1) the idea clearly addresses the stated goal as outlined in the strategic plan, 2) is realistic in scope, 3) shows creativity or innovation, 4) significantly impacts members, 5) is cost efficient, and 6) the application is clear, concise, and complete. See the provided rubric for details regarding how each criterion is assessed.
  5. Submit the application by emailing it to yalsa@ala.org. Applications are due March 16, 2012.

Winners will be notified by phone, and announced the week of April 23, 2012. In the case of a tie, winners will split the prize. The individual prize is worth up to $250 and the winner will receive a certificate of appreciation from YALSA. Implementations of ideas are contingent upon the approval of the YALSA Board.

Please direct questions to Joy Kim, Strategic Planning Committee Chair, at joy.kim@gmail.com.

Scoring Rubric


Excellent (3)

Good (2)

Fair (1)

Poor (0)


Relationship to Strategic Plan Goal Area(s)

The idea clearly relates to at least one goal of the strategic plan.

The idea partially relates to at least one goal of the strategic plan.

The idea has only a tangential relationship to the strategic plan.

The idea has no relationship to the strategic plan.


The idea could easily be implemented by YALSA

With one or two revisions, the idea could be implemented by YALSA.

YALSA would have to revise the idea in more than three areas in order to carry it out.

Idea is unrealistic in scope – it would not be possible for YALSA to implement.

Creativity or Innovation

Idea represents something new to YALSA

Idea enhances and/or expands on something that YALSA is already doing or planning on doing

Idea is related to something that YALSA is already doing or planning on doing without expanding on it.

Idea duplicates something that YALSA is already doing or planning on doing

Benefit to Members

It is clear from the proposal how a wide variety of members will benefit from the initiative.

The proposal demonstrates that some members will have an interest in the proposed idea.

The proposal outlines benefits to a small number of YALSA members.

Benefits to YALSA members are not clear or included at all.

Cost Efficiency

Idea presents virtually no cost to YALSA

Idea presents little cost to YALSA

Idea presents moderate cost to YALSA

Idea presents high cost to YALSA or cost cannot be determined

Clarity of Application

Application is clear and coherent throughout and all areas are complete

One point in the application is not clearly explained; all areas of the application are complete

Two to three points in the application are not clear, all areas are complete

Application is unclear, rambling, or incomplete.

2010 Winners

YALSA has announced the winners of the 2010 Great Ideas contest! They are:

  • Elizabeth Burns, New Jersey State Library Talking Books and Braille Center, Trenton, N.J., won for her idea to host a blog-based YALSA book award/booklist reading challenge, and
  • Kit Ward-Crixell, New Braunfels (Texas) Public Library and Krista McKenzie, Garret College, Accident, Md., shared a prize for their separate proposals to create an online tool to aid young adult librarians in conducting original research.
The Great Ideas contest encouraged YALSA members to suggest ideas to promote the association that addressed the action areas in YALSA’s strategic plan ( PDF): advocacy, continuous learning, marketing, member recruitment and engagement and research.
Burns will receive $250, and Ward-Crixell and McKenzie will each receive $125 for their proposals, which will be implemented in some fashion by YALSA.