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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

ALA Grants for Let's Talk About It: Women's Suffrage

Deadline: December 1, 2021

The American Library Association (ALA) Let’s Talk About It initiative is a scholar-led reading and discussion program, made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The program involves reading a common series of books selected by national scholars and discussing them in the context of a larger, overarching theme. Reading and discussion groups explore the theme through the lens of the humanities by relating the readings to historical trends and events; other works of literature; and philosophical and ethical ideas.

The format for a Let’s Talk About It program involves a ten-week series on a given theme. For this grant opportunity, the theme is Women’s Suffrage. Every two weeks, a discussion group meets with a local humanities scholar to discuss one of the five books in the theme. The local scholar opens the program, bringing the book to life, provoking the group’s curiosity with insights and background on the author and the work. The scholar relates the reading to key humanities focus areas, raising questions and creating a catalyst that sparks discussion. The discussion group then breaks into small groups to talk about the book, share ideas and raise more questions. Finally, the large group reconvenes for final discussion and closing comments.

For this grant opportunity, up to 25 libraries will be selected through a competitive application process to host Let’s Talk About It programs exploring the key humanities focus areas presented in the Women’s Suffrage theme. Between March and September 2022, participating sites will host reading and discussion events for each of the five titles on the Women’s Suffrage theme’s reading list. To qualify for this grant, the applying institution must be a library (public, tribal, school, academic, or special) residing in the U.S. or U.S. territories.

The Let’s Talk About It initiative seeks to:
  • Help communities see firsthand the ways in which the humanities give profound meaning to the human experience.
  • Facilitate reflection and discussion of important issues and subjects through the lens of the humanities.
  • Nourish connections between libraries, local scholars, and the community.
The goals of the Let’s Talk About It: Women’s Suffrage theme are to:
  • Advance civic education and knowledge of a key moment in the history of voting rights through facilitated discussion, focused on a series of books and questions curated by national scholars.
  • Provide opportunities for communities to deepen their knowledge of American history and culture by examining events and individuals who impacted the women’s suffrage movement.
  • Engage communities in critical reflection and discussion on the women’s suffrage movement, the movement’s lasting impact, and the history of voting rights and citizenship.
Applicants should design a minimum of five programs using the LTAI model and plan to collaborate with a local scholar for each event. Each program must highlight one of the five books in the LTAI: Women’s Suffrage theme. Plans for the facilitated conversation should suit an adult audience and incorporate relevant key humanities focus areas. Libraries selected for funding will receive:
For guidelines and more information, including a link to the application, please visit the website:

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