NEH, ALA award 65 libraries “Let’s Talk About It: The Civil War” reading and discussion program grants

For Immediate Release
Tue, 06/14/2011

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CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced that 65 public, academic and community college libraries will receive Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War reading and discussion program grants. A complete list of the selected libraries is available at www.ala.org/civilwarprograms.

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. As a part of the grant, the 65 selected libraries will receive:

  • A $3,000 grant from NEH to support program-related expenses.
  • Fifty 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.
  • 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. As part of the grant, NEH will pay for two nights of lodging in Chicago for the library project director.

Funding for this program was provided by a grant from NEH to the ALA Public Programs Office. 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.

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 www.ProgrammingLibrarian.org, 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 www.ala.org/publicprograms.

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 www.neh.gov.