RECEIPT DEADLINE: September 15, 2015
Date posted: July 1, 2015
Contact the American Library Association (ALA) staff at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Great Stories Club (GSC) is a three-part, thematic reading and discussion program series developed to engage at-risk teens and other underserved audiences through literature-based library outreach programs. Participating libraries work with small groups of 6-10 teens, provide three theme-related paperback books for each participant to keep as their own, and convene opportunities for exploration and discussion of relevant humanities content among peers. Discussions are led by an experienced programming librarian, often in cooperation with staff from a partner organization or department, such as teachers and counselors.
The goals of the Great Stories Club are to:
The GSC program also seeks to make a positive impact at the institutional and community level by:
Up to 50 “Media” grants will be awarded to eligible institutions around the country to support program series that explore key humanities themes presented in the “Media” collection. Participating sites will host at least one reading and discussion event for each of the three titles on the “Media” reading list.
All GSC “Media” programs must take place between January 1 and May 30, 2016.
The current theme of the Great Stories Club is “Hack the Feed: Media, Resistance, Revolution,” developed by Maria Sachiko Cecire, Director of Experimental Humanities and Assistant Professor of Literature, Bard College, NY.
As long as there have been new communications technologies, people have worried about how media can control our thinking, and even alter the nature of how we experience being human. Today some researchers and journalists warn that our Internet culture may be making us less thoughtful, lonelier people, even as governments push for greater technological literacy and universal connectivity. How do media shape individuals and influence whole societies? The three books in this series focus on the stories of young people who learn to see the structures of power that underlie the mass entertainment and information industries in their worlds, and who use this knowledge to resist unjust and oppressive systems.
FEED focuses on the process of “waking up” to how media shapes our lives and thinking. In the novel, most people in America grow up with corporate-owned data feeds directly embedded into their brains. These feeds barrage them with ads, entertainment, and news tailored to their consumer profiles, and allow instant access to information and online chats. At the start of the novel, the protagonist Titus is a full participant in the accompanying culture of consumerism that his friends, family, and even “School™” accept and promote. But after he meets the smart, inquisitive Violet on a trip to the Moon, Titus begins to notice how the feed controls him and his friends, and starts to question the dangerous and unequal norms of his world.
In The Hunger Games, the protagonist Katniss is well aware of the relationship between media and power in her country, but resistance seems impossible. Every year the Capitol forces teenage “tributes” from each of the twelve districts in Panem to fight to the death in an extended televised entertainment extravaganza. The Games are a gruesome take on reality TV that Capitol residents adore and the state requires district residents to watch as a punishment for past revolt. This modern version of the Romam Empire’s &ldquobread and circuses” reminds the oppressed districts of their powerlessness while keeping wealthy Capitol viewers too entertained to think about the injustices in their country. The Hunger Games is a stark reminder that those with economic, technological, political, and military power get to write the dominant cultural narratives. It suggests how even those utterly without power might be able to use the system to their advantage, to voice dissent and even create change. But, the novel asks, at what personal cost?
MARCH is a graphic novel that tells the true story of how young black activists used mainstream media to help bring about an end to segregation during the Civil Rights era. It is a reminder of how often reality can already look like a horrific dystopia that must be,survived and revolutionized. MARCH shows how the mass media of the time helped expose the young Lewis to the mission of racial equality in spite of his rural Alabama upbringing. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television broadcasts, and a comic book about the nonviolent ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr. all helped to bring Lewis from a chicken farmer to a leader in the movement for desegregation. He and his fellow activists face humiliation and brutality during sit-ins and marches, but media reports of their courage and self-control win them the support of people around the country and put pressure on politicians to change racist laws. MARCH is an inspiring example of how self-aware young people can make the most out of even a media system that does not favor them.
Additional resources related to the themes are available on this website. ALA will continue to add resources to support humanities-based programming over the coming months.
The ALA Public Programs Office will make up to fifty (50) Great Stories Club “Media” awards. Programming requirements appear below under Requirements for Grantees.
Recipients of a Great Stories Club “Media” grant will receive the following:
Applications will be accepted from all types of libraries (public, school, academic and special) in the United States and its territories that meet one of the following criteria:
Individuals and organizations other than libraries are not eligible to apply. Federal entities are also ineligible to apply. Applications from organizations whose projects are so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities may also be deemed ineligible. This does not preclude applicants from using grant funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in their projects.
Late, incomplete, or ineligible applications will not be reviewed.
ALA will accept applications for Great Stories Club “Media” grants between July 1 and September 15, 2015. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions before filling out an application.
To begin the application process, go tohttp://apply.ala.org/gscmedia. To apply, you must complete the following steps:
Before you access the application, you must register to create an application account.
If you have already registered when applying for another ALA Public Programs Office grant project, you may log in using your e-mail address and password.
Note: The project director is the person who will be responsible for coordinating the entire proposed Great Stories Club “Media” series. He or she will be the primary point of contact for the project at the applicant institution.
To complete Step 3, provide all the information that is requested on the Project Director Information screen. You must provide a shipping address in order to receive book collections and related materials. You must then save the information.
After clicking the “SAVE” button, you will be able to return to the application at any time and log in using your e-mail address and password. This will allow you to edit, save, and return to your application as needed prior to the September 15, 2015 submission deadline.
Before you compose the narrative section of this proposal, we strongly recommend that you read these guidelines carefully. If you do not, your proposal is unlikely to be competitive.
Please answer each narrative section, describing your plans for hosting a Great Stories Club “Media” reading and discussion program series at your organization. The proposal narrative consists of six to seven sections(described immediately below). Please note that each section of the narrative may not exceed 500 words.
The narrative sections are as follows.
Using the table generator provided in the online application, provide a schedule of the programs, events, and other activities described in your proposal. As applicable, please indicate the date, location, event type/format, brief description, and anticipated attendance for each program that will be hosted during your series.
Upload a resume for the project director, local partner contact person, and any other key speakers/presenters described in the proposal narrative.
Upload letter(s) of commitment from your partner organization. Other optional letters of support may be included here as well.
Upload samples of previous or current reading and discussion programs, youth outreach initiatives, or other related efforts.
An application to host a Great Stories Club “Media” series is an application for an award from the ALA, using funding provided by the NEH, an agency of the federal government. ALA is required by law to ask applicants to identify for each application a certifying official who is authorized to submit applications for funding on behalf of the organization.
To complete this section, you must enter all of the information that is requested.
The Review and Edit page summarizes all the information that you have entered, including your Project Director Information and your Proposal Narrative. From this page you can:
Once you have completed all parts of your application, you may submit it at any time by selecting the “Submit Application” button. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST on September 15, 2015 Applications submitted after that time will be considered ineligible.
Note that once you have submitted your application, you can no longer alter it. The application will then be submitted for review.
You will receive an e-mail confirming submission of your application. At the confirmation page you will be able to print out a copy of your application. Print and keep this copy for your records.
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Another factor that may influence the final selection of libraries is the location of the sites. The selection team would like programs to take place in all regions of the country.
Applicants are encouraged to address questions about the selection guidelines, process, and requirements to the ALA Public Programs Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045, or email@example.com
Each application will be assessed by a panel of librarians, Great Stories Club project advisors, and ALA project staff. All applicants will be notified of their award status on September 30, 2015.
|Application deadline:||September 15, 2015|
|Grant notificaiton:||September 30, 2015|
|Book collections, promotional materials ship:||November 16, 2015|
|Required orientation program:||>Monday, November 16, 2015, American Library Association, Chicago, IL|
|Programming period:||January 1 – May 30, 2016|
|Required final report due:||June 30, 2016, or within 30 days of final program (whichever comes first). A final report must be received before a library may apply for a second Great Stories Club grant.|
If you have questions about the program, contact:
Public Programs Office
American Library Association
1-800-545-2433, ext. 5045