Get Ready for the Next We the People Bookshelf

It’s that time of year again—time to apply for the We the People Bookshelf. This year’s theme, “A More Perfect Union,” seeks to promote reflection among young people on the idea of the United States as a union. What is the nature of the union that the Founders formed and Abraham Lincoln sought to save? Consider our motto (E Pluribus Unum—“Out of many, one.”)—in what ways is America a One as well as a Many? With the ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the Union victory in the Civil War, is the American union complete and perfect? What role have subsequent generations played, and what might we in this century envision, to continue to perfect our union?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the program, here’s a quick primer:

Who? Public and school (K–12) libraries.

What? Free books! Successful applicants will receive a set of classic hardcover books for young readers, all related to the “A More Perfect Union” theme. The set includes sixteen books in English appropriate for reading levels from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Applicants may choose to receive some of these books in Spanish translation. Three bonus selections will appeal to audiences of all ages. Libraries will also receive supplementary materials for programming, including bookplates, bookmarks, and posters.

When? Apply before January 29, 2010.

Where? Online: View the application guidelines, then submit an application.

Why? Free books! And, of course, the many programming opportunities that accompany them.

How? Take a look at some successful applications for help and inspiration.

For more information, including grant requirements, please visit the We the People Web site.