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Nation's Public Libraries Build Collections of American Literature and History Through $1 Million Public-Private Partnership

Carnegie Corporation of New York, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Library of America and American Library Association launch Millennium Project for Public Libraries

WASHINGTON, February 23, 2001--The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today that 293 urban, suburban and rural public libraries throughout the nation have been selected to receive 50 recently published volumes in The Library of America, the distinguished series of American literature and history.

A list of the libraries is available as a PDF document in the box to the right.

The awards--designed to help public libraries build their collection of American literature and history and expand opportunities for educational programs within their communities--are the first of two rounds of the Millennium Project for Public Libraries, a partnership initiative of NEH, The Library of America and the American Library Association. Carnegie Corporation of New York is funding the initiative and awarded $1 million to NEH last year to administer it.

The next and final deadline for applications is April 1, 2001. Application guidelines and materials are available online at www.neh.gov.

"Our goal at the National Endowment for the Humanities is to make the humanities available to all Americans. Working with our distinguished partners on the Millennium Project for Public Libraries is a major contribution toward that goal," said NEH Chairman William Ferris. "These public libraries, many with small book-purchasing budgets, will not only receive The Library of America's outstanding editions of our nation's great writers but will also build new public programs using the editions, including reading and discussion programs, lecture series and displays. The project honors the nation's public libraries, strengthens their role as community cultural centers and brings the humanities to Americans in every region of the nation."

"We are grateful to NEH and Carnegie Corporation of New York for helping libraries build their core collections in the humanities. These are editions that all libraries want but not every library can afford. The programs organized to promote the collection will entice many more readers to experience great American writing--perhaps for the first time--an accomplishment that would make Andrew Carnegie proud," said The Library of America President Cheryl Hurley.

"Partnerships like this enable the American Library Association (ALA) to leverage national opportunities for even small libraries," said ALA President Nancy Kranich. "Each library is receiving nearly $2,000 in books and materials, and the smallest libraries are eligible for programming stipends through ALA's Public Programs Office."

"This investment in regional libraries commemorates Andrew Carnegie's philanthropic work 100 years ago," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "Our founder believed that ignorance was the enemy and knowledge man's answer to most problems. We hope that thousands of men and women, young and old will find and explore ideas and gain knowledge through these volumes."

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Office of Communications at (202) 606-8446 or info@neh.gov