The National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association Public Programs Office have announced that Mount Vernon Public Library, one of only five awards in Westchester County, has been included among a select number of nationwide sites to receive a copy of the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. The program aims to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. Included in the award is:
- A collection of books that highlight the pluralism of cultural forms and traditions within the Muslim world
- Documentary films
- Access to Oxford Islamic Studies Online
- Resources to support programs for public audiences including essays, podcasts and proprietary film and Internet content.
The library’s board was eager to participate in the Muslim Journeys project and is pleased that a trustee’s completed and submitted application was successful. As a public institution, Mount Vernon Public Library strives to reach, support and illuminate a diversity of people, thought and expression. The resources that the library receives through participation in this program help address the changing demographics of our communities, provide access to programs that encourage understanding and respect for others, offer more opportunities for people to get to know their neighbors, and bring additional high-quality books and films into the library. The board is especially pleased that the library’s new director submitted a successful application on behalf of her now, former institution. Ms. Carolyn Karwoski comes to Mount Vernon Public Library with a full understanding of the importance of resources like Muslim Journeys in a community as diverse as ours. She recognizes that this award is important, aligned with the library’s mission and vision and an affirmation that Mount Vernon Public Library is a “. . . diverse, multi-cultural and creative institution, one building a nation-wide reputation as a leader in library services”. For the programming component of this award, the library’s Board of Trustees are especially pleased to work closely with Imam Abdul Azeez of Masjid Yusuf Shah and with the administration, faculty and students of Mount Vernon High School. All of the materials and resources included in the “Muslim Journeys” Bookshelf were selected with the advice of scholars, librarians and cultural programming experts 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 Muslim Journeys Bookshelf is not intended to be a comprehensive study of Islam as a religion or of the Muslim world in all its complexity. Rather, it seeks to introduce readers to some new and diverse perspectives on the people, places, histories, beliefs, practices, and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. The collection of the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys will be on display and available to be borrowed on April 1, 2013 at the library.