The is one of 65 libraries nationwide to receive the “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the Civil War” grant, which will help the library add to its winter programming and plan several events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
“I was thrilled with the news,” said Matt Church, associate director of Baldwin Public Library and grant project director. “We felt we had a strong proposal, but it was so competitive.”
The “Let’s Talk About It” grant, awarded by the the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association, had 175 applicants. Church said Baldwin’s proposal was a collaborative effort among library staff and received brainstorming boosts from notables such as Leslie Pielack, director of the .
As a grant recipient, Baldwin will offer a five-part reading and discussion series based on familiar literary works that probe the meanings of The Civil War. The set of awarded books include copies of March by Geraldine Brooks, Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam by James McPherson, and America’s War: Talking About the Civil War and Emancipation on their 150th Anniversaries, a new anthology.
The $3,000 grant will also allow for program supports, such as promotional materials and training expenses for program directors.
Church, who will serve as project director, doesn’t yet know exactly what the reading and discussion series will look like. “It will be interactive and engaging,” says Church of the grant program. “It won’t just be talks and lectures.” Drawing on different perspectives and insights, Baldwin aims to offer a “high level experience,” including an online component where recorded lectures can be accessed.
Church will head to Chicago in October for program training with University of Detroit-Mercy professor and local project scholar Roy Finkenbine. They will meet with all 65 group recipients to conduct mock workshops and layout the final structuring for the program.
The Baldwin’s Civil War series will be co-sponsored by the Birmingham Historical Museum & Park and the Oakland County Historical Commission. The program is scheduled to begin in late winter Event details will be publicized through the Baldwin Public Library website.