For immediate release | May 21, 2013

NEH, ALA announce 125 grants to support 'Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys' programs

CHICAGO — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, announced that 125 libraries and state humanities councils will receive programming grants of $3,500 - 4,500 to host a Let’s Talk About It reading and discussion series featuring some of the materials included in the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. The selected sites represent 54 public libraries, 47 academic libraries, 11 community college libraries and 13 state humanities councils in 38 states and the District of Columbia. To view the full list of recipients, please visit

Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys 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. The selected 125 sites will receive:

  • Up to $4,500 in grant funding which can be used to purchase books, pay scholar honoraria and support travel to a national workshop.
  • Promotional materials, including posters, bookmarks and folders, to support local audience recruitment efforts.
  • Orientation for the library project director and scholar at a national workshop, where they will hear from national project scholars, expert librarians and organizers and receive a program planning guide, materials and ideas.

NEH and ALA developed five Let’s Talk About It themes to encourage dynamic conversation on a variety of issues presented in the materials included in the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. Themes include American Stories, Connected Histories, Literary Reflections, Pathways of Faith and Points of View. For more information about this Let’s Talk About It programming opportunity, including in-depth descriptions of the themes, visit or

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf is a project of NEH, conducted in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts.

Bridging Cultures is an NEH initiative that engages the power of the humanities to promote understanding and mutual respect for people with diverse histories, cultures, and perspectives within the United States and abroad.

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 on 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

Related Links

Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys


Angela Thullen Baker

Program Officer

Public Programs Office (PPO)