YALSA's Great Books Giveaway Competition

Each year, the YALSA office receives approximately 3,000 newly published books, videos, CD's and audiocassettes, materials that have been targeted primarily towards young adults. Publishers and producers submit copies for selection committees to review and nominate. After the ALA Midwinter Meeting (when committees select their annual lists), these materials need to be removed from the YALSA office to make room for the next year's publications.   

The YALSA Board of Directors believes many libraries that serve young adults would benefit by receiving this collection of materials. YALSA and the cooperating publishers are therefore offering one year's worth of review materials as a contribution to up to three libraries in need through this application process. Applicants must demonstrate the following:

  • Why the collection is needed in their community.
  • Why the collection is needed in their institution.
  • How acquiring the collection will help them better serve the youth of their community.
  • That the library's commitment to intellectual freedom and equity of access for young adults is supported by an up-to-date, board-approved collection development policy which is based upon the guidelines in the Intellectual Freedom Manual (ALA, 1996) and/or Censorship and Selection: Issues and Answers for Schools by Henry Reichman (ALA, 2001).


Each application will be judged on the basis of:

  • The degree of need in the community. (20 points)
  • The degree of need of the school, public library, or institution where the library is located. (20 points)
  • The degree of improvement of service to young adults in the community. (20 points).
  • The degree of clarity and effectiveness of the statement of need. (20 points)
  • An estimate of the age of the nonfiction collection. (10 points)
  • The currency and completeness of the institution’s board approved collection development policy, including the materials selection policy, with procedures for handling challenges. (10 points)

A total of 100 points is possible. Each entry will be rated by this point system and the winning application will be the one with the highest total number of points. The Great Books Giveaway Jury will judge the applications.


  1. Applicants must be personal or organizational members of YALSA.
  2. Applicants must agree to accept all the materials received at the YALSA office, with the understanding that this collection is material targeted primarily for young adults, ages 12-18.
  3. An electronic copy of the current, board-approved collection development policy must be submitted with the application (the document needs to be uploaded).
  4. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  5. Previous winners are not eligible.

Application & Deadline

Applications must be submitted online no later than December 1.

Announcement of Winners

The recipients of the Great Books Giveaway will be announced by a press release each February.

For further information contact YALSA at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4390, or via e-mail at YALSA@ala.org.

Previous Winners