December 10, 2023

YALSA App ‘First of Its Kind’ for Discovering Teen Books


Teen Book Finder app for iOS will be available from the App Store in February

A tool designed to enable access to the best literature for teens will debut for Apple devices next month. A project of YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association), the Teen Book Finder lets users discover titles from the past three years of the organization’s lists and awards, all from their smartphones.

The app, currently in beta, was among a select group of public policy-related tools demoed at the Congressional Internet Caucus Technology Exhibition January 25 in Washington, DC. It’s the first such tool of its kind, according to Stephanie Kuenn, YALSA’s Web Services Manager and project lead on the app. “There really weren’t great ways for people to find books for teens on a smartphone.”

Designed for use by teens, librarians, parents, and teachers, the app enables access to quality reads, searchable by author, title, award/list, year, and genre. A randomly generated list of books will refresh daily on the home page for serendipitous discovery. And a Find It! Button, powered by the OCLC WorldCat Search API, will display the nearest library where users can pick up the book.

You can also create a list of favorites on the Teen Book Finder and share what you found via Twitter or Facebook.

The app was funded with a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Its creation was a partnership between YALSA, which handled the back-end data, and Ora Interactive, a Chicago-based developer.

An Android version of the app is planned for a later 2012 release.



Abby O’Brien, Oakton, VA, demos the Teen Book Finder at the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee's 15th Annual Kickoff Reception and Technology Exhibition in Washington, DC

Kathy Ishizuka About Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka (, @kishizuka on Twitter) is Executive Editor of School Library Journal.


  1. Jennifer Rike says:

    App is no longer available. Is it being tweaked?

  2. Thanks, Jennifer. No launch as of yet. The app is just out of beta testing, and according to Stephanie Kuenn of YALSA, it’s being tweaked this week. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s available.

  3. Katie Williams says:

    Sure hope it is soon! I am sharing at a tech symposium on Friday, and would love to show this app.

  4. Kim McCallister says:

    What is the latest on this app? February has come and gone.