Communications Office

Library Receives Great Stories Club Grant

Norfolk Public Library has been selected as one of 35 libraries nationwide to take part in the Great Stories Club, a reading and discussion program for underserved teens. This competitive grant is offered by the American Library Association (ALA) with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This is the second year in a row that the Norfolk Public Library has been awarded this grant.

As part of the Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, staff from Norfolk Public Library will work with teens at The Zone Afterschool Program to read and discuss stories that explore questions of race, equity, identity, history, institutional change and social justice.

The books — curated for the theme “Growing Up Brave on the Margins: Courage and Coming of Age” — will include “Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona; “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas; and “The Sun is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon.

The titles were selected to inspire young people — especially those facing difficult circumstances or challenges — to consider "big questions" about the world around them and their place in it. Participating teens and library staff will also take part in sessions where they will discuss questions of race and identity.

Norfolk Public Library will receive a $1,200 programming grant and 11 copies of each of the selected books, which will be gifted to the book club participants at the end of the program. The library will also receive resources and training, including travel and accommodations for an orientation workshop in Chicago in October 2019. The workshop will include dialogue facilitation training led by consultants to Everyday Democracy and program modeling led by national project scholar Susana M. Morris (Georgia Institute of Technology).

Gatherings of the Great Stories Club began in September. For more information, contact Amber Peterson, Assistant Youth Services Librarian at 402-844-2100 or

Since 2006, ALA’s Great Stories Club has helped libraries engage young adults with accessible, thought-provoking literature. The current series is part of the Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation efforts, a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.