Muslim Journeys Bookshelf Award

January 17, 2013

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf – a collection of books, films and other resources featuring Muslim culture in the United States and around the world – is now available at the Chapel Hill Public Library.

The Chapel Hill Public Library, in partnership with the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science (SILS), is one of 12 public libraries in North Carolina to receive this collection.

Developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities 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. Each participating library will receive 25 books, three films, and access for one year to Oxford Islamic Studies Online.

All libraries that have received the Bookshelf will also be eligible for upcoming public programming grant opportunities. Support for the development and distribution of the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support for the arts and media components from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

The first in a planned series of Bridging Cultures “Bookshelves,” the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf project is a leading effort in Chairman Jim Leach’s Bridging Cultures initiative, which has highlighted the importance of civility in American life and embraced the role of libraries in fostering community conversations that bring the humanities to the public in new ways.

“There may be no institution more civil than the public library,” Leach said. “Libraries are centers of learning that offer a welcome space where members of the public can learn about the history we share and express different points of view in an ethos of openness and mutual respect.”

Dr. Barbara B. Moran, Louis Round Wilson Distinguished Professor at SILS; Dr. Evelyn Daniel, professor and dean emerita; Sumayya Ahmed, doctoral student; and Kate McNamara, graduate student, assisted with writing the grant.

“It was a pleasure to work with our colleagues from the Chapel Hill Public Library,” said Moran. “Both the Chapel Hill Public Library and SILS realize the importance of providing information to prepare citizens to live in a global society, and the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf will contribute to this objective.”