WIU Libraries Awarded ALA/NEH Grant for Muslim Journeys Bookshelf
March 25, 2013
MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Libraries is one of 842 library systems, libraries and state humanities councils that have been awarded the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. According to the Illinois Humanities Council, the award provides WIU Libraries and other recipients with 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.
Jeff Hancks, associate professor and the University archivist, led the project for WIU Libraries. For it, he had to apply for the grant, which was created by the American Library Association (ALA), in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
"ALA and NEH identified experts to recommend various books and films representative of the global Islamic experience and to offer them to libraries across the U.S.," Hancks explained. "Last fall, I submitted a formal application, which included writing an essay about WIU Libraries and how we planned to create a public program highlighting the bookshelf. We received notification in January that WIU Libraries had been selected. Shortly thereafter, a box arrived with the materials, and we began to catalog them."
Hancks noted the entire collection—comprised of 25 books and three films (with public performance rights)—is now cataloged, and the materials are available for use by all WIU students, faculty and staff, as well as by Illinois residents. (A list of the collection is available at www.programminglibrarian.org/muslimjourneys/mj-bookshelf/mj-collection.html.)
"In times of declining acquisitions budgets, it is becoming increasingly difficult for WIU Libraries to buy the books and films we want for our collection. Grants like the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf help make it easier for us to provide access to materials like many of these books, which otherwise probably would not have been purchased," Hancks noted.
Hancks added University Libraries will sponsor screenings of some of the films in Fall 2013.
For more information, contact Hancks at (309) 298-2717 or via email at JL-Hancks@wiu.edu.