The University of Toledo Libraries has been selected to receive the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.
“We have many international students of a Muslim background; this collection helps everyone to understand their culture and religion,” said Wade Lee, associate professor of library administration, electronic information services librarian and science reference librarian. “It’s nice that those students will have a number of resources now that they can point other students to and help them learn.”
The books and films comprising the collection were selected with the advice of librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies and Islamic studies.
The collection will be presented under five different themes: American stories, connected histories, literary reflections, pathways to faith and points of view.
As part of the grant, the libraries are partnering with a variety of groups to present public programs around these themes. Future events will include a lecture on Islamic art by Carolyn Putney at the Toledo Museum of Art in September and a screening of the film “Koran by Heart” as part of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s 2013 fall film series.
“There are a large number of residents in the Toledo area of the Muslim faith, and this collection helps investigate a culture that is very much part of our own city and history,” Lee said.
The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association, with major support provided by a grant from Carnegie Corp. of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components was provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Local support is provided by the University Libraries, the UT Muslim Students Association, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and the Toledo Museum of Art.
For information about the collection, visit libguides.utoledo.edu/MuslimJourneys.