The Loyola University Chicago Libraries was selected to receive a competitive grant from the American Library Association (ALA) for the Great Stories Club, a thematic reading and discussion program designed for at-risk teens and young adults. As one of 58 U.S. libraries and 96 grant recipients selected from across the county, Research and Learning Librarian, Annette Alvarado, will work with Arrupe College students to read and discuss novels selected for the GSC themes, “Finding Your Voice: Speaking Truth to Power” and “Deeper Than Our Skins: The Present Is a Conversation with the Past.” The themes, created by scholars Maria Sachiko Cecire and Susana M. Morris, feature books that explore questions of race, equity, identity and history. Select titles from the themes include “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices”, ed. Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, “The Shadow Hero” by Gene Luen Yang, illus. by Sonny Liew, and “Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A.” by Luis J. Rodriguez.
The University Libraries will receive a $1,000 programming grant and will work with small groups of approximately 10 students to provide up to four theme-related books for each participant to keep as their own, as well as audiobooks, to use with the group and convene opportunities for exploration and discussion of relevant humanities content among peers.
Since 2006, ALA’s Great Stories Club has helped libraries engage young adults with accessible, thought-provoking literature. To learn more about the Great Stories Club, please visit ala.org/greatstories. Implementation of both themes is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Plans for the University Libraries events are underway. The book discussions will take place on campus from September 2023 to May 2024 and more information will be available at libraries.LUC.edu.