Great Stories Club

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 troubled 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! However, please note that if you have a final report due for the “Art of Change” series, you must be submit your final report before you are eligible to receive another GSC grant. Reports for the “Art of Change” series must be finalized by December 30, 2016, or your library must request and receive an extension from ALA. Please contact Brian Russell ( for assistance with any concerns.

Is attendance at the March 2017 orientation session required?

No. Due to funding limitations, only libraries that have never participated in a GSC orientation workshop will receive support to attend the March workshop. However, all libraries selected for a new GSC grant will participate in an online training opportunity.

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 “Teen Violence and Suicide” reading list at our request?

No. If your organization is unable to work with one of the titles on the Great Stories Club reading list, you will need to purchase an alternate, theme-related title at the library’s expense. The title must be approved by ALA in advance of application submission. Please email Brian Russell at brussell@ala.orgif you are exploring this option.

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. Libraries will be notified via e-mail by January 16, 2017 . If your library has not received notification by the stated date, please contact ALA at 312-280-5045 or

What if I have questions about my application?

Join ALA’s Public Programs Office and past GSC grant recipients to learn all you need to apply to be part of the newest GSC offering, “Structures of Suffering: Origins of Teen Violence and Suicide.” Watch this pre-recorded webinar, whose topics include grant benefits, the application process, tips on establishing an outreach partnership and strategies for getting letters of support. Prior GSC applicants also share their experiences with the project, including roles and responsibilities, the impact of GSC on their patrons and tips for successful programming. Please contact Brian Russell ( for assistance with any additional concerns.

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