So, most of us, as teen library professionals, have been working from home, participating in several zoom meetings, networking with colleagues, helping teens with remote passwords for databases or assisting in audiobook selections, and numerous other tasks.

2020 Winner — Last January, Stefanie Bailey, 2020 chair of the Great Books Giveaway Competition, and her jury were dutifully reading the applications and selecting a winner.

Bailey stated, “As Chair of the Jury, what I found most valuable in helping select a winner of the Great Books Giveaway was the extra time and research that candidates put into writing their application, describing their community needs, and outlining the impact that the award would have on their community.”

Congratulations to Andrew Gallegos from Maricopa (Arizona) Public Library as this year’s winner. Then, in March, the YALSA staff was boxing the hundreds of newly-published books, audio CD’s, and videos. Before the YALSA staff could mail the material to Gallegos, the governor of Illinois issued a stay-at-home order for ALA due to the global pandemic.

The ALA offices reopen this week, so the YALSA staff will continue where they left off with packing the boxes of materials to send to Maricopa. Gallegos and his colleagues cannot wait to open the boxes of over $20,000 worth of library materials for their teens. Gallegos commented, “It is a great hope that some of these new books will be the reason(s) that a young adult will continue to not just keep reading, but also be an active member in the library and community.”

FOY InfographicShipping — Who pays for the shipping of these materials? YALSA, right? Wrong, YALSA or ALA does not pay for the shipping of these books. Friends of YALSA (or FOY) pays for the shipping of these materials. Donate to Friends of YALSA’s Give $20 in 2020 campaign to support the shipping of the Great Books Giveaway, Spectrum Scholar, Emerging Leader, National Library Advocacy Day, Writing Awards, and more.

Great Books Giveaway History — YALSA member Linda Waddle brainstormed the Great Books Giveaway idea in the late 90’s; YALSA officially established it in 2000.  It came about as the number of books being sent to the YALSA office for selection and award committees started to increase.  These books are used by award and selection committees during meetings at ALA annual and midwinter meetings. The first recipient was Martin Luther King Jr Academy in Lexington, Kentucky in 2000; the furthest recipient was Joeten-Kiyu Public Library (Saipan) in 2019. Other recipients have included a library on an Indian Nation Reservation, a high school for pregnant and parenting teens, and a library with a teen bookmobile. Over forty libraries, both public and school, have been awarded books for their teenagers through the Great Books Giveaway. Any YALSA member can complete an application for the Great Books Giveaway. Apply by Dec. 1.

Be safe and stay healthy.

-Gregory Lum
Financial Advancement Committee Chair

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