Great Stories Club

Great Stories Club ("Empathy" and "Heroism" themes) Frequently Asked Questions

Are non-library organizations eligible to apply for the Great Stories Club?

No. However, institutions without a library that provide services to underserved, under resourced, or at-risk teen populations are encouraged to contact their local library and create a partnering relationship with the library as the applicant.

If my library received a Great Stories Club grant for a prior theme, may we apply again for future themes?

Yes! ALA welcomes applications from past recipients of GSC and TRHT GSC grants. Please mention your past participation in your proposal.

Is attendance at the project orientation workshop(s) required?

No, attendance is not required, though those who have not attended a GSC workshop in the past are strongly encouraged to participate. Please note:

  • Each themed reading list—"Empathy" and "Heroism"—includes three core titles that will be explored during the orientation workshop. If you would like to attend the workshop, you must select at least two core titles for your library's program series.
  • If your library is applying to host both the "Empathy" and "Heroism" themes, ALA may only be able to support your attendance at one workshop. If you indicate interest in attending both, we will assign you to attend one based on availability. If space allows, we will accommodate both requests.

Must libraries give the Great Stories Club books away to teens?

Yes. The library may keep up to one copy of each title for the library collection and provide up to one copy for the discussion leader. All other Great Stories Club books must be gifted to program participants to keep as their own. If you cannot fulfill this program requirement, please contact Brian Russell ( to explore options for meeting the grant terms.

How were the books chosen?

The Great Stories Club core reading lists were selected by the humanities scholars who serve as GSC project advisors. Programming librarian advisors and ALA staff also advised during the selection process. GSC librarian advisors developed the GSC supplemental reading lists.

Will ALA substitute other books that are not on the Great Stories Club reading list at our request?

No. If your library is unable to work with at least three of the titles that have been included on a themed reading list, you will not be able to complete the program requirements.

Will only successful applicants receive notification about the outcome of the application?

No. All applicants will be notified by ALA, regardless of the outcome of their applications. Grant notifications will be sent via email to all applicants on two dates: "Empathy" theme notifications will be sent on July 20, 2018 and "Heroism" notifications will be sent on August 1, 2018. If your library has not received notification by the stated date, please contact ALA at 312-280-5045 or

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