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Great Stories Club

Establishing an outreach partnership for GSC implementation

  • If your library is not located within an organization that serves troubled teen populations, you will need to establish an outreach partnership with another organization in your community that does.
  • Appropriate partner organizations include, but are not limited to, juvenile justice facilities, drug rehabilitation centers, nonprofits serving teen parents, alternative high schools, agencies serving teenaged foster children, shelters serving homeless and runaway youth, and other agencies. If you have questions about the appropriateness of a possible partner organization, please contact the ALA Public Programs Office at publicprograms@ala.org prior to completing your Great Stories Club application.
  • Create a list of potential community partners, and decide which agency to approach. If you are not familiar with the agencies in your community that serve troubled teens, conduct an online search for local social service agencies, the department of juvenile justice, the department of children and family services, or any area alternative schools.
  • Once you’ve selected a potential community partner, identify a contact person at the facility, keeping in mind who the players are and what the politics may be like. Possible contacts include directors, teachers, librarians, supervisors, and counselors. There may be a “Friends” of the Juvenile Hall group, a Board member at your library who volunteers at a local shelter or social service agency, a reading teacher at an alternative school, or another person who can help make your case within an appropriate organization.
  • Potential partners may be interested to know that, by participating in the Great Stories Club, they will be part of a national library programming initiative of the American Library Association that is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Present your contact with a clear and simple proposal describing the program and activities you would like to implement. ALA offers a sample GSC partnership proposal form that may be helpful. You may also wish to use this form to gain your library director’s support of the program and your participation in it.
  • Work with your contact to create a workable program plan, taking institutional procedures such as security clearance into consideration. Communicate clearly with your contact about the reading material that will be used in your programs, and make sure that the titles are available for review and approved in advance of submitting an application.

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