The Frankfort Public Library District was recently awarded a Muslim Journeys Bookshelf of books, films and other resources about Islamic cultures and civilizations from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“I just thought this was a really great opportunity to explore Muslim faith, history and culture,” said Melissa Rice, who is the head of adult services for the Frankfort Public Library.
In conjunction with this new acquisition, the library will partner with the American Islamic Association of Frankfort, a local mosque, to host a series of events and programs about Islamic history, literature and religion.
The series will take place between March and December of this year, and will include book discussions, history and art lectures, culinary events and documentary viewings.
No dates have been set, but Rice says that the library has commitments from presenters with Northwestern University and Loyola University of Chicago. The library will also facilitate a panel discussion with the Southwest Interfaith Team, a local religious organization that includes Christian, Jewish and Muslim community members.
“There’s so much – let’s call it ‘misinformation’ – out there,” said Khalid Mozaffar, who is the director of communications and outreach for the AIA. “Our goal is to break down these walls of miscommunication.”
Mozaffar says the program series will provide an opportunity for dialogue in the Frankfort community.
The library has recently received an increased demand for cultural and educational programming, Rice said. The upcoming series is one way to offer those high-demand programs. The library has previously hosted events about historical and cultural topics such as Jewish literature and the Civil War.
Frankfort is one of 57 communities in Illinois to receive a Muslim Journeys Bookshelf from the NEH, and one of 842 nationwide.
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