Let’s talk about it

Program at the Gilpin Library 

PRESS RELEASE – The Gilpin County Public Library received a $4,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA) to host a five-part reading and discussion series titled “Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys.” Gilpin County Public Library is one of 125 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to participate in the project (and one of only three in Colorado), which seeks 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. The Muslim Journeys theme that Gilpin County Public Library has chosen to explore is Literary Reflections.

“We are delighted to have been chosen to host this unique series that will allow patrons a chance to discuss some important themes in Muslim history and literature with the help of a well-qualified scholar,” said Larry Grieco, Library Director.

“Libraries play a central role in our communities to help promote literacy and lifelong learning,” Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet said. “This grant will help the Gilpin County Public Library provide patrons with a variety of media to develop a deeper and more complex understanding of the diverse cultures and dynamic history of the world around them.”
The first program will explore the book, The Arabian Nights, edited by Muhsin Mahdi, and will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. All programs will be held at the Gilpin County Public Library, 15131 Highway 119, Black Hawk, Colorado. For more details please contact Larry Grieco, 303-582-0161,

(Additional books will be discussed every other week at the library. These books are The Conference of the Birds, January 25; Snow, February 8; Dreams of Trespass, February 22; and Minaret, March 8.)

Dr. Nancy Ciccone, Chair of the English Department at the University of Colorado, Denver, will lead a discussion of the book at each session. She brings with her a broad range of teaching experience.  Having earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, she has taught classical through post-modern literature. She has also taught in a variety of settings: an urban campus in downtown Denver that includes traditional and non-traditional students, graduates and undergraduates; a public grade school (Dry Creek Elementary), and a college (St. Mary’s) where she taught great books courses; and classical literature at UC Berkeley. She has received teaching excellence awards from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Colorado, Denver.

Larry Grieco, director of the Gilpin County Library, is the grant’s Project Director. A year as a VISTA volunteer in 1970 (on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in South Dakota) spawned a career in library work that has lasted more than 40 years. Grieco graduated with a BA in English and a Master’s in Library Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a member of the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee, and has much experience in providing educational and cultural programs for adults, including previous Let’s Talk About It programs at the Gilpin Library in 2009 and 2012.

All of the books to be discussed in this series are part of the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies, and Islamic studies.

The Gilpin County Public Library serves the entire Gilpin County community, and is active in offering arts and cultural programs along with more traditional library services. The library is open Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  (Closed Sunday and Monday.) The library’s website is at Phone: 303-582-5777.

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