The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced that the West Chicago Public Library District is among 842 libraries and state humanities councils in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to be awarded the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a collection of books, films, and other resources intended to introduce the public to the complex history and culture of Muslims in the United States and around the world.
Developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association (ALA) based on the advice of scholars, librarians, and other public programming experts, the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is meant to address both the need and desire of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations. As a participating library, West Chicago will receive 25 books, 3 films, and access for one year to Oxford Islamic Studies Online.
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The first in a planned series of Bridging Cultures "Bookshelves," the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf project is a leading effort in NEH's Bridging Cultures initiative, which has highlighted the importance of civility in American life and embraced the role of libraries in fostering community conversations that bring the humanities to the public in new ways.
"We take great pride in our Library as a 'community center' for public discourse," says Administrative Librarian Melody E. Coleman. "This award aligns with the Library's mission and vision to offer materials and services that engage individuals of every cultural background and provide Library patrons the opportunity to enjoy an intellectually and culturally rich experience," she added.
Support for the development and distribution of the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support for the arts and media components from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.