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Library receives – “Great Stories Club” book club grant

Aurora Public Library receives ‘Great Stories Club’ book club grant for at-risk teens

(Aurora) Aurora Public Library has been selected to receive a competitive grant from the American Library Association (ALA) to host a reading and discussion program designed for at-risk teens.

The library welcomes Aurora Township Youth Services as a partner in this endeavor.

As one of the 75 Great Stories Club grant recipients selected from across the country, Aurora Public Library will work with groups of 6 to 10 teens to read and discuss three books in which young adult narrators use the creative arts to move past challenges.

“Teenagers are inundated by choices, and it is often difficult for them to see the long-term implications of their everyday actions,” said Teen Librarian Pat Schwartz. “We’re excited to introduce our teens to these three true stories of young people using the arts to respond productively to hardship.”

The book titles, under the theme “The Art of Change: Creation, Growth and Transformation,” include: “Buck: A Memoir” by M.K. Asante; “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie; and “The Complete Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi.

The titles — selected by librarian advisors and humanities scholars — were chosen to resonate with reluctant readers who struggle with complex issues such as incarceration, violence and poverty.

Aurora Public Library will receive 11 copies of each of the three books, which will be gifted to the book club participants.

The library also will receive paid travel and accommodations for library project directors to attend an orientation workshop in late June at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, and project materials, training and support.

Gatherings of the Great Stories Club will begin Aug. 1, 2016. Those interested in learning more may contact Pat Schwartz at 630-264-3612 or at

Since its inception in 2006, ALA’s Great Stories Club has reached 670 libraries in 49 states and more than 30,000 young adults ages 12 to 21. The grant is administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in partnership with the Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), including the Library Services for Youth in Custody and Library Services to the Incarcerated and Detained interest groups. The Great Stories Club is made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Celebrating 50 Years of Excellence.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

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