East Asia in Wisconsin Library Program Now Accepting Applications

Facebook post by Menomonee Falls Public Library on a sushi-making program they ran in spring 2023 using funding from the East Asia in Wisconsin library program.

The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Wisconsin—Madison is delighted to announce that the “East Asia in Wisconsin” library program, now in its fourth year, is accepting applications. Full details, ideas for materials and programming, and a link to the application can be found at https://eastasia.wisc.edu/eainwisconsin. Proposals will be accepted through Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, with notification of awards in mid October.

Launched in 2020, the program offers grants of up to $1,000 per library to augment collections with East Asia-related materials, and to design new book clubs and other programing with an East Asian theme.

Libraries in 10 Wisconsin library systems (along with one elementary school in a pilot program for school libraries) received grants through this program in 2022-23.

Examples of how libraries used the grant include funding for:

  • Collections of cookbooks focused on East Asia. (The Manga Cookbook: Japanese Bento Boxes, Main Dishes and More! was the single most popular item for this round.)
  • Specialty items like flashcards, games, and language learning software connected to East Asia and East Asian languages.
  • Entire Manga sets.
  • Crafts supplies for programs to make sushi, paper lanterns, traditional Japanese tie-dye, Chinese calligraphy, etc.
  • Book talks for all ages on award-winning titles like Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko and George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy.
  • Adding titles about East Asia to the statewide Wisconsin Digital Library.

“This grant is a way for our center to help library patrons across the state have access to the latest in current events, reference materials, children’s books, literature and film about East Asia,” said CEAS assistant director Laurie Dennis. “Rusk County Community Library in Ladysmith, Wisc., used their grant to buy a set of cookbooks and then launch a “Cookbook Club” featuring monthly meetings to sample recipes that library patrons have cooked up. That’s just one of the many creative ways our Wisconsin libraries used to help patrons learn more about East Asian cultures.”

CEAS once again partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Library Association, and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center to plan and promote this program.

The East Asia in Wisconsin Library Program is partially funded by a Title VI grant from the US Department of Education.