‘Americans and the Holocaust’ traveling exhibition tour from ALA and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum extended to 50 additional communities

For Immediate Release
Wed, 03/08/2023


Hannah Arata

Communications Specialist

Public Programs Office

American Library Association


The American Library Association (ALA), in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, announce an extension of Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition to U.S. libraries. This tour, based on a special exhibition at the Museum in Washington, D.C., examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

After traveling to 50 U.S. public and academic libraries from 2021 to 2023, the exhibition will now be available to 50 additional communities from 2024 to 2026.

Public and academic (i.e., college and university) libraries are invited to apply starting in summer 2023 to be part of the extended tour. Libraries in regions that do not have existing relationships with local Holocaust museums or centers are especially encouraged to apply. Libraries demonstrating a need for Holocaust education in the community, strong local partnerships and impactful programming plans that fit the project’s guidelines and reach youth audiences will be considered favorably.

To be notified when applications open, sign up for ALA’s Programming Librarian newsletter. Non-library organizations interested in being part of the tour should identify a public or academic library to partner with on an application.

“ALA is thrilled to build upon our collaboration with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to bring this tour to 50 more communities,” said ALA President Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada. “So far, libraries participating in this tour have given a platform to local Holocaust survivors’ stories, unearthed little-known local histories, and started important conversations about Americans’ responses to refugees in the past and today.”

Drawing on a remarkable collection of primary sources from the 1930s and ’40s, the exhibition examines how individuals and groups in American society — from the government, military, nonprofit organizations, media, and general public — responded to Nazism and genocide. “With the expansion of this tour, we have a remarkable opportunity to reach more people around the country. We hope that upon seeing the exhibition at their own library, they will think critically about how and why the Holocaust happened,” said Gretchen Skidmore, director of education initiatives at the Museum. “What does the history of the Holocaust mean for us as individual citizens, as a country, and as members of a global community? The exhibition challenges people to ask themselves not only how they might have responded in the past, ‘What would I have done?’ but also in the present, ‘What will I do?’”

Selected libraries will receive:

  • The 1,100-square-foot exhibition on loan for five to six weeks;
  • A $3,000 allowance to support public programs;
  • Expenses paid for a library staff member to attend an orientation workshop (dates TBD) at the Museum in Washington, D.C.; and
  • Publicity materials, programming support and more.

Grantees must meet minimum programming and reporting requirements. See the project guidelines for details.

Americans and the Holocaust was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. Additional major funding was provided by the Bildners — Joan & Allen z”l, Elisa Spungen & Rob, Nancy & Jim; and Jane & Daniel Och. The Museum's exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990.

About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A nonpartisan, federal educational institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding and relevance. Through the power of Holocaust history, the Museum challenges leaders and individuals worldwide to think critically about their role in society and to confront antisemitism and other forms of hate, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. For more information, visit ushmm.org.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.