August 16th, 2022
ARP's Humanities Grants for Libraries supporting GC's curriculum and community programming
College also uses NEH/ALA funds for digitalization of library collections
Garrett College has used a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to bolster humanities curriculum and programming, support digitalization of library special collections, and to reboot the popular Joan Crawford Lecture Series.
The NEH funding for these projects came via the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Jenny Meslener, director of Garrett College's Learning Commons, said students, staff, faculty, community members and visiting scholars have all benefited from achieving the project goals.
"The overarching goals of this program have been to increase access to special collections, raise awareness and support humanities scholarship activities, and support student success," noted Meslener.
The curriculum-based component of the grant allowed Garrett College to purchase materials to support academic humanities curriculum and programming in literature (African American, Appalachian, and children's literature), cultural anthropology, French and Spanish, and American history.
The College purchased a charging station, cassette converter, video conversion suite, and document scanner with grant funds to support the digitalization of library special collections. These supplies were used to digitize the Coal Talk Oral History collection as well as Garrett College's archives, which are now available online. They also supported a part-time library assistant/humanities specialist to digitize the materials.
"One of the goals for the funds was to make the special collections more accessible and discoverable," said Meslener. "That demonstrates support of the College's values of providing open access to programs and services."
The grant supported the reboot of the JCLS by funding honorariums for three speakers, event refreshments and a videographer's time. The lecture series, which honors late Professor Emerita Joan Crawford, will be starting its second season since the reboot next month.