GHC One of 842 Awarded NEH Book Collection
The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced that the library at Georgia Highlands College is one of 842 libraries and state humanities councils from among all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands to be awarded the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. The award is a collection of books, films and other resources that will introduce the American public to the complex history and culture of Muslims in the United States and around the world. GHC will receive 25 books and three films designed to address the American public’s desire for trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilization. The bookshelf also includes one year’s access to Oxford Islamic Studies Online. The grant received funding from the Carnegie and Doris Duke Foundations.
The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is the first in a planned series of exhibits awarded by the NEH. They are designed to highlight the importance of civility in American life and understanding of different cultures and ethnicities that contribute to the American Melting Pot. The NEH has embraced the role of libraries in fostering these community conversations that bring the humanities to the public in new ways. The Bookshelf projects are the product of NEH Chairman Jim Leach’s Bridging Cultures initiative. “There may be no institution more civil than the public library,” he 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.”
Muslim Journeys dovetail with GHC’s diversity initiative, which fosters understanding and acceptance of difference among students, faculty and staff inside the college and promotes multicultural awareness and social inclusion. Librarians Stacy Brown (Cartersville) and Mark Gatesman (Marietta) wrote and submitted the grant. The exhibit will be permanently housed at GHC-Cartersville, but some elements will travel to other Highlands campuses.
Additional lectures and events are being planned as well. Most will take place in Cartersville, though several will also be presented in Marietta. These two campuses were chosen because they are near local Islamic centers and have access to a diverse population. Southern Polytechnic State University, where GHC’s Marietta campus is situated, hosts a Muslim Student Association, and its members will also participate. All events are open to the public.