30 libraries receive Jewish literature discussion program grants; additional grants available for September 30 deadline

Contact: Lainie Castle

Public Programs Office


For Immediate Release

September 12, 2005

30 libraries receive Jewish literature discussion program grants; additional grants available for September 30 deadline

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and Nextbook, a gateway to Jewish literature, culture and ideas, selected 30 public and academic libraries to receive grants for
Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature programs. This is the third round of
Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature grants awarded by ALA and Nextbook. Thirty-four grants were awarded during the first grant cycle in August 2004, and thirty-five were awarded during the second cycle in January 2005. The fourth and final round of grant applications are due September 30, 2005.

Based on the Let's Talk About It reading and discussion model pioneered nationally by ALA starting in 1984,
Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature features scholar-led, theme-based discussions that explore the best in contemporary and classic Jewish literature. Participating libraries will each host a five-part discussion series featuring one of four themes: Your Heart's Desire: Sex and Love in Jewish Literature; Demons, Golems, and Dybbuks: Monsters of the Jewish Imagination; Between Two Worlds: Stories of Estrangement and Homecoming; and A Mind of Her Own: Fathers and Daughters in a Changing World.

The libraries selected to receive the third round of
Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature grants are (in alphabetical order by state):

  • Montgomery City - County Public Library, Montgomery, Ala.
  • Tucson-Pima Public Library, Dusenberry-River Center Branch, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Kensington Library Contra - Costa County, Kensington, Calif.
  • Moraga Library - Contra Costa County, Moraga, Calif.
  • San Diego County Library, San Diego
  • San Jose Public Library, San Jose, Calif.
  • Santa Monica Public Library, Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Los Angeles Public Library - Sherman Oaks Branch, Sherman Oaks, Calif.
  • Ventura College Library, Ventura, Calif.
  • North Regional Broward County Community Library, Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Alachua County Library District, Gainesville, Fla.
  • Collier County Public Library - Headquarters Branch, Naples, Fla.
  • Council Bluffs Public Library, Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Ind.
  • Christopher Center for Library & Information Resources, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind.
  • East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Baton Rouge, La.
  • Goucher College Julia Rogers Library, Baltimore, Md.
  • Southwest Minnesota State University Library, Marshall, Minn.
  • Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, Mo.
  • Camden County Library System, Voorhees, N.J.
  • Great Neck Library, Great Neck, N.Y.
  • Hewlet-Woodmere Public Library, Hewlett, N.Y.
  • Port Washington Public Library, Port Washington, N.Y.
  • Poughkeepsie Public Library District, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
  • University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Ore.
  • Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.
  • Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa.
  • Austin Public Library - Old Quarry Branch, Austin, Texas
  • Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax, Va.
  • Cabell County Library, Huntington, W.Va.

Let's Talk About It: Jewish Literature grants will be awarded in December of this year. Applications for public and academic libraries for this final grant cycle are being accepted until September 30, 2005. To download a grant application and guidelines, visit
www.ala.org/publicprograms or

Libraries selected for the project are required to promote and present a five-part discussion series based on one of the four themes for a public audience. Each series features discussion programs led by a local scholar. Selected libraries will receive training for the library project director at a national training workshop, program and promotional materials and a $1,500 grant to support workshop travel, program costs and scholar honoraria.

Nextbook is a national initiative to promote books that illuminate 3,000 years of Jewish civilization. Nextbook's programs include: partnerships with public libraries and other organizations to create innovative public programs; a series of short books in which prominent authors take on notable individuals, issues, or events in Jewish history; and a Web site featuring a daily cultural news digest, original features, and annotated reading lists. Nextbook is a gateway to Jewish literature, culture, and ideas for Jews and non-Jews alike.

The Public Programs Office is a unit of the American Library Association, the oldest and largest library association in the world. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to foster cultural programming as an integral part of library service. Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members and works to establish libraries as cultural centers in their communities.