For immediate release | January 10, 2013

NEH, ALA announce 840 sites to receive 'Muslim Journeys' bookshelf

Libraries will receive books, films to support programs exploring Islamic culture

CHICAGO – The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), in collaboration with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, announced that 840 sites nationwide would receive a copy of the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. Sites have been selected in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including 545 public libraries, 259 academic and community college libraries and 36 state humanities councils. To view the full list of sites, visit

The program aims to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. Each of the selected sites will receive:

  • a collection of 25 books that highlight the pluralism of cultural forms and traditions within the Muslim world;
  • three documentary films including public performance rights;
  • access to Oxford Islamic Studies Online, which will allow libraries access to primary source documents and current works of scholarship;
  • bonus resources to support programs for public audiences including thematic essays, discussion points, podcasts and proprietary film and Internet content;
  • materials to support program promotion, including bookmarks, posters and bookplates.

Terrilyn Chun, programming and community outreach manager of the Multnomah (Ore.) County Library and an advisor on the project, said that her library is “excited to participate in the Muslim Journeys project. Community members have been enthusiastic about the potential for programs that highlight Islamic history and culture, because they can help address the changing demographics of our communities, provide access to programs that encourage understanding and respect for others, offer a chance for people to get to know their neighbors, and bring high-quality books and films into the library.”

All of the materials and resources included in the “Muslim Journeys” Bookshelf were selected with the advice of scholars, librarians and cultural programming experts. Bookshelf materials will be featured in programs for public audiences January 2013 through December 2013. For more information, visit or The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf is a project of NEH and the ALA Public Programs Office. Support for the program has been provided by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support for the arts and media components from 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

Program Officer

Public Programs Office (PPO)