Reading and Discussion Programs

The books selected for inclusion on the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf were chosen with their potential to stimulate meaningful conversations in mind. If you are interested in hosting a reading and discussion program or series, please review the One Book, One Community and Let’s Talk About It program models. If your library received the Bookshelf, you may also wish to review the guidelines and apply for a Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys programming grant by March 29.

One Book, One Community

  • Select a book from the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf for a community-wide reading program. For complete, step by step instructions on how to plan and host a series, download a copy of the ALA Public Programs Office’s “One Book, One Community: Planning Your Community-Wide Read” (PDF).
  • Additional copies of the book you select may be purchased by the library with outside funding, made available for sale by the Friends of the Library or a local bookseller, or ordered via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Remember that a central library may apply on behalf of all branches within the system, which makes obtaining multiple copies of each book via ILL possible through the Muslim Journeys grant.

Let’s Talk About It

Let’s Talk About It is a scholar-led reading and discussion program model launched on a nationwide level for libraries by ALA in 1982. The model involves reading a common series of books selected by a nationally known scholar, and discussing them in the context of a larger, overarching theme. Participants explore the theme through the lens of the humanities, relating the readings to historical trends and events, other works of literature, philosophical and ethical considerations.

  • The Muslim Journeys Bookshelf has been divided into five themes, each designed with the LTAI program structure in mind.
  • Those interested in developing an LTAI program on one of the Muslim Journeys themes may wish to download “Let’s Talk About It: A Planner’s Guide” (PDF) for complete how-to information, including goal setting, scholar recruitment, promotion and marketing, budgeting, formatting, and evaluation.
  • Librarians, local scholars, and library patrons may wish to read the essay that has been provided for each of the five themes included in the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf. Written by a national project scholar, each thematic essay is a discussion tool and guidepost for local scholars and participants. Each Let’s Talk About It participant should be given the essay in advance of the first discussion session.
  • For those who are interested in convening reading and discussion programs, but do not have access to an appropriate scholar, sample discussion points for each book are also available by theme.