Contact: Angela Thullen
Program Officer, Communications
For Immediate Release,
March 18, 2008
Libraries in 34 states earn grants for “Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature”
CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office (PPO) and Nextbook, a gateway to Jewish literature, culture and ideas, selected 86 public and academic libraries to receive grants for
Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature programs. The awards mark the final round of
Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature grants awarded through a multi-year grant from Nextbook to ALA. Since 2004, ALA and Nextbook have awarded more than 330 grants to conduct
Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature reading and discussion programs.
Libraries selected for the project are required to promote and present a five-part discussion series based on one of six themes for a public audience. Each series features discussion programs led by a local scholar. Selected libraries receive training for the library project director at a national training workshop in April 2008; program and promotional materials; and a $2,500 grant to support workshop travel, program costs and scholar honoraria.
A total of 86 public and academic libraries have been selected to receive the final round of Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature grants. For a list of participating sites by state, visit http://www.ala.org/ala/ppo/programs/currentprograms/letstalkaboutit/ltaijlphase2round2.cfm.
Based on the “Let's Talk About It” reading and discussion model pioneered nationally by ALA starting in 1982, Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature features scholar-led, theme-based discussions that explore the best in contemporary and classic Jewish literature. Participating libraries will each host a five-part discussion series featuring one of six themes: Modern Marvels: Jewish Adventures in the Graphic Novel; Neighbors: The World Next Door; 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.
Created in 2003, Nextbook is a non-profit organization that promotes books illuminating 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 featuring a daily cultural news digest, with links to stories and reviews from around the world. Nextbook is a gateway to Jewish literature, culture and ideas for Jews and non-Jews alike. For more information, visit www.nextbook.org.
Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has an exemplary 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 created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming ( www.ala.org/ccf). More than 10,000 libraries and at least 10 million individuals have participated in library programming initiatives supported by the Public Programs Office. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit www.ala.org/publicprograms.