McHenry County College (MCC) received a federal grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the “Muslim Journeys Bookshelf,” a collection of 25 books, three films and other resources for the MCC Library. These resources will introduce community members and students to the complex history and culture of Muslims in the U.S. and around the world.
The collection, which is part of the Bridging Cultures initiative, is valued at $1,500 and is available to community members and MCC students. The resources include a one-year subscription to an electronic academic database.
Out of thousands of applicants nationwide, MCC is one of 842 libraries and humanities councils in the country and the only community college in the northwest suburbs to be awarded this collection. The grant also makes the college eligible to receive further funding for Bridging Cultures projects.
“As a public and community-driven College valuing diversity, part of MCC’s role is to provide open forums and educational resources so that students may have discussions on many different issues,” said Christina Haggerty, chief communications officer at MCC.
“I’m excited about the award and the opportunity to add new resources to the College’s library collection. In addition to being available to the community at large, the ‘Muslim Journeys’ will supplement the coursework of approximately 450 students in various humanities classes, including philosophy and art,” said Marcella Reca Zipp, Ed.D., director of Resource Development at MCC. “The students can use the books, videos and the online Oxford Islam database for assigned readings, research, and in-class presentations. Faculty are looking forward to using these new materials in their curriculum and research.”
According to the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB), 6,596 Muslim adherents and two congregations reside within McHenry County, compared to a number “too few to count” in 2000.
“The collection will help provide trustworthy and accessible resources about Muslim beliefs and practices while building bridges to foster interfaith understanding within the county and region,” Zipp said.
In addition to providing additional educational resources, Zipp said housing the collection will provide opportunities to facilitate community-wide exploration of the “Muslim Journeys” themes and to partner with organizations interested in the topic.