Westchester Community College has received educational materials from the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures initiative. Twenty-five books, three films, and access to the Oxford Islamic Studies Online Database will help students learn more about the complex history and culture of Muslims in the United States and around the world. The college is one of 842 libraries and state humanities councils selected to receive the materials through a special grant.
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.
“The resources we have received are an excellent addition to our collection and are a perfect fit for the college’s mission and goals,” says Diana Matson, who wrote the college’s grant application. “In our classrooms and in our library, we have celebrated various cultures at this institution which boasts a diverse student body and we continue to be committed to multiculturalism,” she adds. To supplement the new materials, Matson has arranged for a spring lecture by Deniz Beyazit, assistant curator, Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the screening of the grant’s films.
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 the 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.
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.