News & Opinion

Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys

by on July 19, 2013

In early 2013, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA) provided nearly 1000 libraries around the country with a collection of resources based on the counsel of humanities educators and program experts regarding the Muslim community.  The program was titled the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf:  Muslim Journeys.

“The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a collection of books, films, and other resources chosen with a view to familiarize the American public with Islam and the cultural heritage of Islamic civilizations. It addresses both the need and the desire of the American public for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations[1].”   These resources have been disseminated throughout the country to public, academic, and community college libraries. Participation libraries are required to host a community event that focuses on one of the books or one of the Project’s themes.  Suggestions for program ideas and potential community partners can be found on the Bridging Cultures’ website.

Themes
The selected books were structured under five different themes, which operate as the basis for the various discussion programs.  The five themes are:
*        American Stories
*        Connected Histories
*        Literary Reflections
*        Pathways of Faith
*        Points of View

Each theme will have an essay written by a national project scholar attached to it that more fully explores the particular issue.  A list of further reading and topics for discussion will also accompany each theme.  Moreover, the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf recommends various viewing material and discussion points on Art, Architecture, and Film. Some of the movies recommended are Koran by Heart and Prince Among Thieves. The participating libraries can be found here.  Get more information about this project here.

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1. American Library Association. Programming Librarian. 03 31, 2013. http://www.programminglibrarian.org/muslimjourneys.html (accessed 06 02, 2013).



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