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Apply today for the 6th annual "We the People" Bookshelfgrant opportunity

The ALA Public Programs Office is pleased to partner with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the sixth We the People Bookshelf project. Part of the NEH’s We the People program, the Bookshelf encourages young people to read and understand great literature while exploring themes in American history.

This year’s theme, “Picturing America,” explores the premise that a nation’s literature, as well as its visual art, can be a window on its character, ideals and aspirations. The We the People Bookshelf on “Picturing America” will be a literary complement to the NEH’s Picturing America program – a free education resource that provides reproductions of 40 pieces of great American art to schools and public libraries to help educators teach American history and culture through our nation’s art (

Public and school (K-12) libraries are invited to apply online now through January 30, 2009 at In spring 2009, NEH and ALA will select 4,000 libraries to receive the 17 books for young readers, plus three works in Spanish translation, as well as bonus materials for readers of all ages. Selected libraries will be required to use the Bookshelf selections in programs for young readers in their communities.

The Bookshelf grants are part of the NEH’s We the People program, which aims to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history and culture through libraries, schools, colleges, universities and cultural institutions. NEH plans to offer a We the People Bookshelf each year on themes related to ideas and ideals unique to America. Since 2003, NEH and ALA have distributed 9,000 We the People Bookshelves to public and school libraries.

To view the list of books included in the We the People Bookshelf on "Picturing America," or to access programming ideas for your application, visit With questions, please contact the ALA Public Programs Office, [email protected]

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