GCC Library & Learning Commons is one of 840 libraries and state humanities councils nationwide receiving this special collection of materials. It is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association ALA) Public Programs Office Bridging Cultures initiative, which aims to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. A collection of twenty-five books and three films were awarded to each library. Additional materials included bookmarks, bookplates, posters and rights to host free public screenings of films.
The award came as a result of an application developed by a GCC team that included Clara Ogbaa, Director of Library Services, who will also serve as project coordinator for the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf; Susan Chenard and Renee Gaines, both Professors of English in the Humanities Department. GCC was among only 10 organizations to receive NEH awards here in Connecticut, and one of only two in New Haven. Additionally, GCC was the only community college among state awardees; joined by Southern Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University and the Suffield branch of the Lincoln College of New England as the only Connecticut institutions of higher education to receive the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf.