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Great Stories Club @ Pitt

ALA’s Great Stories Club at Pitt

Pitt’s University Library System (ULS) has been selected as one of 70 libraries nationwide to take part in the Great Stories Club, a reading and discussion program for teens in Homewood. This competitive grant is offered by the American Library Association (ALA) with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

As part of the Great Stories Club series on Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, Pitt librarians Robin Kear and Tyrica Terry Kapral will work with teens at Pitt’s Community Engagement Center (CEC) in Homewood to read and discuss stories that explore questions of race, equity, identity, history, institutional change and social justice. 

The books — curated for the theme “Deeper than Our Skins: The Present Is a Conversation with the Past” — will include Mother of the Sea by Zetta Elliott; Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale; and The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Sonny Liew. Check out the reading list for descriptions of each book. Book club participants will be gifted a copy of each of the selected books. For more information about our theme, "Deeper than Our Skins," visit

The titles were selected to inspire young people to consider "big questions" about the world around them and their place in it. Participating teens and library staff will discuss questions of race and identity and will engage with local artists, writers, and community activists. By the end of the program, participants will complete a digital project that will be showcased to family, friends, and the community in a final celebration.  

Gatherings of the Great Stories Club will be held weekly on Tuesdays from 4pm to 5:30pm at Pitt’s CEC in Homewood (N Homewood Ave) and will run September 10th through November 12th 2019. Snacks will be provided. In addition to copies of the books, participants will also be awarded certificates of achievement. For more information, contact Robin Kear ( or Tyrica Terry Kapral ( 

We are currently recruiting 10 participants. We are looking for high school students aged 15-18 in Homewood or neighboring areas.


Applications will be accepted from February 1st to August 1st. Ten participants will be selected.

Why Apply?

Participation in the Great Stories Program at Pitt comes with many benefits! Here are a handful: 

  • Increase awareness and ability to critical engage with identity and social justice issues
  • Gain skills and experiences you can add to your resume and other application materials
  • Produce a project that showcases your critical thinking and creative skills
  • Engage with artists, writers, and activists in the community
  • Build connections with faculty at University of Pittsburgh