Pratt Awarded the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf Grant

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By Becky Hass

Piri Reis

The Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Reisterstown Road Branch was awarded the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf grant, one of only eight grants awarded in Maryland. We are bringing the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf and related programming to this branch as part of our effort to bring to the public an awareness of the rich resources available about Muslim authors and themes, provide cultural outreach to our Muslim constituency, and raise community interest in ongoing Muslim literature discussion groups.

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures initiative. The Bookshelf is a collection of books, films, and other resources that will introduce library visitors to the complex history and culture of Muslim people in the United States and around the world.

The Pratt will receive 25 books, 3 films, and access for one year to Oxford Islamic Studies Online. The books selected have been organized into five themes, including American Stories, Connected Histories, Literary Reflections, Pathways of Faith, and Points of View. There will also be a Muslim Journeys companion website with digital resources relating to the Bookshelf. All of these resources will be available in the coming months. There will also be upcoming programs at the Reisterstown Road Branch related to the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf.

The programs will build on other diversity awareness-themed programming offered at the Reisterstown Road Branch. In 2006, we hosted "Voices from the Middle East," a discussion of fiction by Middle Eastern writers led by Dr. Arthur Lesley. Last year, this branch hosted the American Library Association’s exhibit, "A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965." It was a tremendous success with 246 attendees. Many of our customers requested more programming regarding other cultures represented in the community. This year we are collaborating with The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Place of Weinberg Senior Living on "Building Strength in Difference," a series of programs, book discussions, and guided discussions around issues related to diversity.

Contact the Reisterstown Road Branch for more information.

We would like to extend our thanks to the National Endowment for the Humanities and look forward to bringing these resources to the Pratt community.  For more information, check out these resources:

National Endowment for the Humanities Logo Small 

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