National Endowment for the Humanities Awards Heights Libraries the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf Collection

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced January 9 that Heights Libraries will be awarded the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a collection of books, films, and other resources designed to introduce the American public to the complex history and culture of Muslims in the United States and around the world.

Heights Libraries is one of 842 libraries in the nation to win this award, and one of only two in Cuyahoga County–Lakewood Public Library also received the award. Sam Lapides, Heights Libraries special projects coordinator, wrote the grant and is overseeing the project.  Librarians, including Adult Services Librarian Carole Wallencheck, will be designing future programming around the new collection.

“We’re looking forward to offering programs that showcase the many ways that Muslim culture has shaped and enriched civilizations across the globe” says Wallencheck. “Lectures, films, book discussions and art tours will be in the mix.”

Developed by the NEH and the American Library Association (ALA) based on the advice of scholars, librarians, and other public programming experts, the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is intended to address both the need and desire of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations.

“This collection will give our community the opportunity to learn about different aspects of the Muslim experience and culture, including literature, poetry, history, and art,” says Lapides. “The Heights community is diverse in just about every way and truly embraces learning opportunities, so we know these new resources will be popular.”

All four branches of Heights Libraries will receive a Muslim Journeys Bookshelf set, which consists of 25 books, three films, and access for one year to the resource Oxford Islamic Studies Online.  Books will include such titles as the graphic novel Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissis, and The Children of Abraham: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam by F.E. Peters. Films will include Prince among Slaves and Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World.

Programs are tentatively slated to start in summer or fall of 2013. Check for details.