Apply by April 19 to receive “Let’s Talk About It: The Civil War” program grant

For Immediate Release
Tue, 01/11/2011


Angela Thullen

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) are now accepting applications for Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War, a reading and discussion program in America’s libraries. Public, academic and community college libraries are invited to apply online through April 19 by visiting

Just in time to commemorate the Civil War sesquicentennial, Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War follows the popular Let’s Talk About It model, which engages participants in discussion of a set of common texts selected by a nationally known scholar for their relevance to a larger, overarching theme. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from NEH to the ALA Public Programs Office.

In June, 50 libraries will be selected to host the reading and discussion series and receive support materials from NEH and ALA. The program grant includes:

  • A $2,500 grant from NEH to support program-related expenses.
  • Twenty-five sets of three titles: including “March” by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, 2006), “Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam” by James McPherson (Oxford University Press, 2002) and a forthcoming Civil War anthology of historical fiction, speeches, diaries, memoirs, biography, and short stories, edited by national project scholar Edward L. Ayers and co-published by NEH and ALA.
  • Promotional materials, including posters, bookmarks and folders, to support local audience recruitment efforts.
  • Training for the library project director at a national workshop, where they will hear from the project scholar, expert librarians and organizers and receive a program planning guide, materials and ideas.

Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War is supported by NEH’s We the People initiative, which aims to stimulate and enhance the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture. More information including project guidelines and the online application are available at

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included Let’s Talk About It reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, LIVE! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, new technologies, exhibitions and programs in libraries, museums and other community places. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at