Hudson County Community College Is Recipient of ‘Muslim Journeys Bookshelf’ Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Posted: 2/21/2013
Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4061, jchristopher@hccc.edu and Roger Jones, 201-200-10, rj@j-a-c.com
JERSEY CITY, N.J. / February 21, 2013 — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has named Hudson County Community College (HCCC) as one of just 842 libraries and state humanities councils throughout the United States and its possessions to be awarded the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. The award, a collection of books, films and other resources, is intended to better acquaint the American public with the history and culture of Muslims in the U.S. and around the world.

“Hudson County’s greatest asset is the rich diversity of its people,” said Hudson County Community College President Dr. Glen Gabert, noting that students at the College come from over 115 nations and speak 29 different languages. “This incredible collection will provide us all with a better understanding and greater appreciation of our Muslim neighbors.”

Dr. Gabert noted that Hudson County Community College is one of just five colleges and universities — and the only community college — in New Jersey to be awarded the collection. Fairleigh Dickinson University, Monmouth University Library, Montclair State University and Rowan University are also recipients of the collection.

The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf was developed by the NEH in conjunction with the American Library Association, utilizing guidance from scholars, librarians, and other public programming experts. The collection of 25 books, three films and access to the Oxford Islamic Studies Online was compiled to provide the American public with trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices and the cultural heritage associated with Islamic civilizations. It has been organized into five segments — American Stories, Connected Histories, Literary Reflections, Pathways of Faith, and Points of View. Support for the project’s development and distribution was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support for the arts and media components provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Hudson County Community College Library Executive Director Carol Van Houten said librarians John DeLooper and Clifford J. Brooks, who submitted the proposal for the grant, developed activities and programs around the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf print materials. These activities will include two programs centering on Islamic literature and religion that will be presented by Professor Lisa Bellan-Boyer.

Additionally, Dr. Beth Citron, the Assistant Curator of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City will lead a discussion on contemporary Islamic art and its far-reaching influences on the visual arts, architecture and décor. The event was arranged by the College’s Art Coordinator Dr. Andrea Siegel with the support of a grant from the College’s Office of Student Activities. It is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3 at the College’s Culinary Arts Institute/Conference, 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City.

The residents and business people of Hudson County are invited to attend all of the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf events, and to view the materials that will be housed at the College’s Libraries — the HCCC Main Library at 25 Journal Square in Jersey City, and the North Hudson Library at 4800 Kennedy Boulevard in Union City.

Further details on the activities and events planned around the “Muslim Journeys Bookshelf” collection will follow.