Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature (HISTORICAL)

About the Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature
Based on the “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion model pioneered nationally by ALA 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. Over the past four years, “Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature” grants have been awarded to more than 330 libraries nationwide. Participating libraries each host a five-part discussion series featuring one of six themes.

Administered by:

Public Programs Office logo

Award and Frequency

Participating libraries will receive a grant of $25,00, program materials, an intensive training workshop, and an opportunity to participate in an electronic discussion list.
This award is not currently being given out.


*Public and academic (community college, college, and university) libraries may apply.
*Libraries that have already received a grant and completed a Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature series are eligible to apply for either a single-series $2,500 grant or a two-series $5,000 grant.
*Programs must be open to the public. Academic libraries must describe in detail how they plan
to attract public audiences to their programs and distribute the books. All libraries are encouraged to partner with local community organizations
*Eligible uses of grant funds are local scholar honorarium, travel by library project director and scholar to training workshop, books, program promotion, and program materials.
*Each library must designate a library project director responsible for all administrative project details.
*Project directors are required to attend the
training workshop.
*Reading and discussion sessions must be led
by a qualified scholar whose participation must be confirmed in application materials.
*Required credit must be given to funders in
program and publicity materials.
*Submission of three copies of completed
application form, signed by library director,
with all required attachments.
*Submission of two copies of a final report,
including required statistics, submitted to ALA Public Programs Office no later than 60 days
following the completion of the last program,
or by the final report deadline.
*Libraries receiving two-series grant funds under the Round I, December 2006 deadline must complete the first series and submit an interim report in order to apply under the Round II, December 2007 deadline.

Applicant Responsibility

*Libraries must provide detailed plans for acquiring books for their collections and for participant use.
*“Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature” is designed as a reading and discussion series facilitated by a single scholar. The intent of the single-scholar model is to nurture sustained, comfortable dialogue between the program participants and the scholar over the five-session series.
*Consistency in scheduling is a proven method of audience retention and program recognition; therefore, we highly recommend scheduling
the program on the same day and time at the same library.
*Each theme features five books to be discussed
in the order listed.

Application Instructions

This grant is no longer available.

Contact Information

Displaying active committee roster as of 10/15/2021. Last retrieved on 10/15/2021. Members can log in to view full contact information for committee members.

Selection Criteria

*Clarity and completeness of program plan. All required information, including planned dates, times, and place where program will be held,
anticipated attendance, and role of program
partners, must be submitted and clearly described.
*Qualification of the project scholar. Each scholar should have a Ph.D. in English Literature, Jewish Studies, or other related humanities subject, and a strong knowledge of Jewish literature and culture. Current or past experience should include teaching literature at a university or college. He or she should be engaging and comfortable speaking before and facilitating discussion with adult audiences. Scholar information should include name, title, and a one-page vita or bio.
*The library’s vision of the program. The program plan should describe how the “Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature” series relates to the library’s existing public programs and how the library envisions the program benefiting the community it serves (e.g., how the program will contribute to the community’s cultural life).
*Quality of publicity and audience recruitment plan, including the role of program partners. The program plan should describe the role of the program partners. When possible, please include partners’ letters of support with your library’s application.