Contact: Lainie Castle
Public Programs Office
For Immediate Release
June 20, 2006
Grants available for new rounds of popular Let's Talk About It:
Jewish Literature reading and discussion series
Two exciting new themes and increased programming grants announced
CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office (PPO) and Nextbook, a gateway to Jewish literature, culture and ideas, are pleased to announce two new rounds of grants for Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature - Identity and Imagination, a theme-based reading and discussion series. Under the new deadlines, two new themes and increased programming grants are available. Public and academic libraries are eligible to apply.
Based on the "Let's Talk About It" reading and discussion model pioneered nationally by ALA in 1984, Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature features scholar-led, theme-based discussions that explore the best in contemporary and classic Jewish literature. Over the past three years, Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature grants have been awarded to 159 libraries nationwide. Participating libraries will each host a five-part discussion series featuring one of six themes. The two new themes and book selections are:
Neighbors: The World Next Door
A Journey to the End of the Millennium, A.B. Yehoshua
Red Cavalry, Isaac Babel
Neighbors, Jan T. Gross
The Assistant, Bernard Malamud
Mona in the Promised Land, Gish Jen
Modern Marvels: Jewish Adventures in the Graphic Novel
A Contract with God, Will Eisner
Maus I/II, Art Spiegelman
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer: Stories, Ben Katchor
The Quitter, Harvey Pekar
The Rabbi's Cat, Joann Sfar
Previous themes, which also are included, are Your Heart's Desire: Sex and Love in Jewish Literature; Demons, Golems, and Dybbuks: Monsters of the Jewish Imagination; Between Two Worlds: Stories of Estrangement and Homecoming; and A Mind of Her Own: Fathers and Daughters in a Changing World.
Each library selected for the grant project will receive:
A $2,500 grant (increased from $1,500 in the past) to support program costs and scholar honoraria.
Training for the library project director at a national training workshop where they will hear from project scholars, experts, and organizers, and receive a program planning guide, materials and ideas.
Program materials, including introductory literature and essays on each of the books, promotional materials and selections for additional reading.
Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature - Identity and Imagination grants will be awarded in two rounds during 2006 and 2007. Libraries that have already received a grant and completed a Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature series are eligible to apply for a single-series $2,500 grant or a two-series $5,000 grant under each deadline. Complete guidelines and an application will be posted online by July 15 at www.ala.org/publicprograms or www.nextbook.org/ala. The application deadline for the first round of grants is December 1, 2006.
Nextbook is a national initiative to promote books that illuminate 3,000 years of Jewish civilization. Nextbook's programs include partnerships with public libraries to build collections and to create innovative public programs; annotated reading lists that guide readers to exciting works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; and a Web site ( www.nextbook.org ) featuring a daily cultural news digest with links to stories and reviews from around the world.
Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has a strong track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It!," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library®, and other programs. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment fund created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming ( www.ala.org/ccf). More than 8,000 libraries and at least 10 million individuals have participated in library programming initiatives supported by the Public Programs Office. For more information, visit www.ala.org/publicprograms .