Let's Talk About It Jewish Literature Identity and Imagination

By Louis Rodriguez,2014-08-21 06:20
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Let's Talk About It Jewish Literature Identity and Imagination

    Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness

    Guidelines and Application Information

    The American Library Association (ALA) and the Fetzer Institute, as part of its Campaign for Love & Forgiveness, present Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness, a scholar-led reading and

    discussion program for libraries interested in exploring themes of love and forgiveness in everyday life through classic and contemporary literature. Public libraries are invited to apply for grants to support the program in their community.

New Themes and Book Selections:

Love and Forgiveness in the Presence of the Enemy

    Scenes from The Iliad by Homer

    Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

    Embers by Sandor Marai

    The Guardians by Ana Castillo

    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Love and Forgiveness in the Light of Death

    Paula by Isabel Allende

    Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

    Jazz by Toni Morrison

    The Death of Ivan Illych by Leo Tolstoy

    The Dead by James Joyce

Love, Forgiveness, and Wisdom

    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

    The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

    A Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

    The Essential Rumi (poems), translated by Coleman Barks

    Atonement by Ian McEwan

What is Let’s Talk About It?

    Let’s Talk About It is a reading and discussion series led by local scholars and organized around themes that engage and stimulate audiences. The American Library Association (ALA) launched Let’s Talk About It as a national program in 1982. Let’s Talk About It has reached hundreds of

    libraries and more than four million people around the United States over the past 25 years.

Program Description

    The ALA Public Programs Office and the Fetzer Institute are pleased to announce the launch of three engaging new reading and discussion series exploring themes of love and forgiveness through works of classic and contemporary literature. Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness

    aims to encourage contemplation and conversation about love and forgiveness and recruit new

    libraries to the Let’s Talk About It model. Each participating library will receive a $2,500 grant to support training, program materials, promotion, and honoraria for participating scholars.


Project Sponsors

    The ALA Public Programs Office’s mission is to foster cultural programming as an integral part of library service in all types of libraries. Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide to develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members and works to strengthen the role of libraries as cultural centers in their communities.

    The Fetzer Institute’s mission, to foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in the emerging global community, rests on its conviction that efforts to address the critical issues facing the world must go beyond political, social and economic strategies to their psychological and spiritual roots. The Institute works with global leaders, organizations and individuals to bring the power of love and forgiveness to the center of individual, community and organizational life. For information, visit the Campaign for Love & Forgiveness,

How will Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness programs work at my library?

    Participating libraries choose one of the three themes (listed on page x) and plan a five-part series of reading and discussion programs taking place every two to four weeks (depending on local library preference). The library is responsible for recruiting a scholar to lead the discussion, and promoting the programs to the widest possible public audience. Each of the themes includes a selection of five literary works to be read and discussed, accompanied by a scholarly essay.

    The essay, written by project scholar Betty Sue Flowers, professor of English at the University of Texas and director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library,

    will introduce each theme and illuminate discussion. Libraries will need to purchase and/or acquire books for their collections and for participant use.

What will participating libraries receive?

    ; A grant of $2,500. This grant may be used to send the library project director and local

    scholar (if the library chooses to bring the scholar) to the training session, and for local

    scholar honorarium, program promotion, series books, and related titles.

    ; Program materials, which include introductory literature and essays on each of the

    themes, selections for additional reading, and template promotional materials. Program

    materials will be downloadable via the project Web sites and for local use and maximum distribution. Libraries will also

    receive five posters to use to promote the series and 50 program folders for participants.

    ; Access to the project electronic discussion list, including all participants and project staff.

    ; An intensive training workshop required for library project directors. Program planning

    guides will be distributed at this session.

How to Apply:


     Review these guidelines and complete the application on pages xx-xx or online at or

Application Deadline:

    Grant Project Reading & Final Reports Application

    Award Director Discussion Due Deadline

    Notification Training Programs in

    Workshop Libraries

    August 30, October 3 & 4, January 1 June 1, July 31, 2009 July 15, 2008

    2008 2008 2009

Contact Information:

    If you require further information about Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness grants please contact:

    Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness Grants

    Public Programs Office

    50 East Huron Street

    Chicago, IL 60611

800-545-2433 ext 5045


    ; Public libraries may apply.

    ; Programs must be open to the public.

    ; Libraries are encouraged to partner with local community organizations to promote and

    plan their programs.*

    ; Each library must designate a library project director responsible for all administrative

    project details.

    ; Project directors are required to attend the training workshop.

    ; Eligible uses of grant funds are: local scholar honorarium, travel by library project

    director and scholar to training program, books, program promotion, and program


    ; Public libraries that have already applied for or received previous Let’s Talk About It

    project grants may apply under the July 15, 2008 deadline, provided they have completed

    their funded programming and submitted the final project report.


    ; Submission of three copies of completed application form, signed by library director,

    with all required attachments.

    ; Submission of two copies of a final report, including required statistics, submitted to

    ALA Public Programs Office no later than 60 days following the completion of the last

    program, or by the final report deadline.

    ; Reading and discussion sessions must be led by a qualified scholar whose participation

    must be confirmed in application materials (see Review Criteria,

    ; Required credit must be given to project sponsors in program and publicity materials.

    * If a local PBS station is participating in the Fetzer Institute’s Campaign for Love & Forgiveness, libraries are encouraged to partner with the PBS station. Communities with


    participating Campaign for Love & Forgiveness PBS stations include Charlotte, N.C., Baltimore, Md., St. Louis, Mo., Grand Rapids, Mich., San Diego, Calif., Rochester, N.Y. and Eureka, Calif.

Review Criteria:

    o Clarity and completeness of program plan. All required information, including

    planned dates, times and place where programs will be held, anticipated

    attendance and role of program partners, must be submitted and clearly described.

    o Qualifications of the project scholar . Each scholar should have a Ph.D. or

    advanced degree in English Literature, American Literature, or other related

    humanities subject. Current or past experience should include teaching literature

    at a university or college. He or she should be engaging and comfortable speaking

    before and facilitating discussion with adult audiences on themes related to the

    human condition, and in particular on themes of love and forgiveness. Scholar

    information should include name, title and two-page vita or bio.

    o The library’s vision of the program. The program plan should describe how the

    Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness series relates to the library’s existing

    public programs and how the library envisions the program benefiting the

    community it serves (e.g., how the program will contribute to the community’s

    cultural life).

    o Quality of publicity and audience recruitment plan, including explanation of the

    role of program partners. See FAQs on pages xx-xx for examples of how partners

    participate. When possible, please include partner letters of support with your

    library’s application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q: Should I contact and confirm the program scholar before submitting the application? A: Yes. Your application must include the name, title and vita or bio of a confirmed program scholar in order to be considered.

Q: Who is required to attend the training session?

    A: The library project director is required to attend the October 3 & 4, 2008 training session in

    Chicago. The library may choose to bring the project scholar to the training session as well, but his or her attendance at the training is not required.

Q: I have recently served as project director for an ALA sponsored Let’s Talk About It

    series. Will I be required to attend the training workshop?

    A: Yes. This is the first time the Love & Forgiveness themes are being offered, therefore repeat project directors must attend the training workshop.

    Q: Are academic, school and special libraries eligible to apply for this grant? A: No. However, interested academic, school and special libraries are encouraged to partner with their local public library to assist with the program (e.g., encourage their users to participate, help to publicize the program).


Q: What qualifications does the scholar for this project possess?

    A: The qualified scholar should have a Ph.D. or master’s degree in English Literature, American Literature, or other related humanities subject; and experience speaking before and facilitating discussion with adult audiences on themes related to the human condition.

Q: Is my library’s book discussion leader an appropriate scholar for this project?

    A: Yes, as long as the book discussion leader has the appropriate academic credentials (see above).

Q: May multiple scholars lead the discussions?

    A: No. Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness is designed as a reading and discussion series

    facilitated by a single scholar. The intent of the single-scholar model is to nurture discussion, communication, comfortable dialogue, and a relationship between the program participants and the scholar over the five-session series.

    Q: Is it better for my library system to apply as a whole, or can individual branches apply? A: Either systems as a whole or individual branches are eligible to apply. It will depend on how your system is organized and the goals of your program plan.

Q: My library applied for a Let’s Talk About It grant in the past, but we were not awarded

    the grant. Can we reapply?

    A: Yes. Libraries are invited to reapply, but we strongly encourage you to contact the ALA Public Programs Office ( to find out why you were not awarded the grant and how to revise your application.

Q: How long should each Let’s Talk About It session last?

    A: An hour and a half to two hours is about right. Attendees will come prepared to discuss the book. The scholar will talk for about 15-25 minutes, group discussion will last for about an hour, and you need time for getting started, getting seated, wrapping up and, if needed, taking a break.

Q: What is the optimum size group for discussion programs?

    A: There is no magic number. You want to make this program available to the largest number of people who will make an active commitment to participate. If your group is large, you can either break into smaller groups for discussion or plan to hold the program at additional times and/or locations. Asking people to sign up in advance for these programs is the best way to predict group size, as well as ensure a commitment to attendance.

Q: May multiple project directors coordinate the series?

    A: No. A singe project director must be designated at each library site for the series.

Q: Can this series be presented at multiple sites?

    A: No. The program must be held at one library.

Q: What role do project partners typically play in the Let’s Talk About It series?

    A: Project partners can be invaluable resources for marketing the program, identifying and providing access to scholars, creating supplemental projects, assisting with book distribution, and providing supplemental funding.


Q: How important are partners to this grant?

    A: The presence of community partners indicates the library’s ability to reach out to targeted audiences in the community, to generate community support and interest, and to capitalize on local resources. Partners help to paint the picture of the library’s enthusiasm for the program.

Q: Are the project deadlines “postmark” or “receipt” deadlines?

    A: Receipt. Applications under each project deadline must be received by the ALA Public Programs Office (50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611) on or before the deadline date. Late,

    incomplete, faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted.

Q: May applications be submitted electronically?

    A: No. Applications and required attachments may not be submitted electronically.


    Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness


    Cover Sheet

Complete the following page and answer the questions in the narrative section by attaching two

    to five typed sheets (double-spaced preferred).

Name of Library

    ALA Membership # (if applicable)


    City State ZIP

    Phone Fax email (required)

    Name and title of project director

    ALA Membership # (if applicable)

    Name, signature of library director

    ALA Membership # (if applicable)

    Population of library’s legal service area

    Name of partner organizations (if applicable)

Indicate Selected Theme

___Love, Forgiveness, and Wisdom

    ___Love and Forgiveness in the Presence of the Enemy ___Love and Forgiveness in the Light of Death

Programs for which funding is requested.

Complete the following table, indicating proposed dates, times, venues and projected attendance

    for the five Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness programs in the theme you have selected:

Date and Time Location Book to be Discussed* Anticipated Attendance

*Refer to page xx of the guidelines for list of books. Books must be presented in the order listed in the guidelines.


    Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness


    Page 2:

    Narrative: Attach a two to five page (double spaced preferred) typed narrative statement

    addressing the following:

    1. Describe your program plan, including overall goals, reason for choosing theme,

    description of target audience(s), any plans for related programs, and name and role of

    partners, if any. When possible, include letters of support from partners.

2. List the project director’s specific experience with Let’s Talk About It programming or

    other library reading and discussion groups, and/or adult public programming. Attach a

    vita (up to two pages) or bio for project director.

    3. What is the name and title of the program scholar, the scholar’s highest degree and

    discipline? Detail connection to the themes and any previous experience relevant to

    leading a library-based reading and discussion group. Attach a vita (up to two pages) or

    bio for the scholar. (Note: applications without a confirmed program scholar will not be


    4. Describe the publicity efforts that will be used to attract participants. Attach samples of

    previous or current program publicity materials, if available.

    5. What methods will be used to evaluate whether your program met its goals and


6. Has your library previously received or applied for a Let’s Talk About It grant? If so,

    under which deadline? (If the grant was received, provide date final report was


    7. What is your library’s commitment to and history of adult public programming, including

    previous Let’s Talk About It experience and/or other adult public programming? Please

    provide specific examples of program successes, including attendance figures.


     Complete applications will include three collated copies of the following:

    ; Cover sheet with signature of library director

    ; Narrative statement (two to five pages, double spaced preferred)

    ; Scholar and project director vita or bio (up to two pages each)

    ; Samples of previous or current publicity materials

    ; Letters of support from project partners


Mail application to:

Let’s Talk About It: Love & Forgiveness Grants

    Public Programs Office

    American Library Association Questions?

    50 E. Huron St. 800-545-2433, ex 5045

    Chicago, IL 60611

    Please note: All materials must be RECEIVED by application deadline. Late, incomplete, faxed, or e-mailed applications will not be accepted. To receive a copy of this application in Word (.doc) format, please send a request via e-mail to

    A printable/downloadable copy of the application is available online at: or


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