East Asia in Wisconsin Library Program

Tensions between the United States and China have been on the rise. Since a 2018 trade dispute, the situation has worsened to an alarming level due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Anti-Defamation League, among other organizations, has reported a rise in incidents of harassment and assault against Asian Americans, as well as international students and visitors from Asia. While the motivations behind these incidents are complex, a shortage of empathy and understanding is surely a factor.

Fostering a better understanding of East Asia and its peoples is part of the core mission of the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. To further this mission, CEAS is working with the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA), the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to pilot a new initiative: East Asia in Wisconsin Program. The initiative supports collection development and programming at public libraries that will enrich understanding of East Asia in local communities. 

Program Overview

  • Grants of up to $1,000 are available to public libraries in Wisconsin for:
    • the purchase of East Asia-related materials to augment library collections;
    • East Asian programming including, but not limited to: book club materials and programming, and hosting virtual programs related to East Asia. 
  • Proposals will be accepted through 5 PM Thursday, October 1, 2020.
  • Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to CEAS Associate Director Laurie Dennis (ldennis@wisc.edu). If you want assistance with preparing your grant, contact Cindy Fesemyer at DPI (cindy.fesemyer@dpi.wi.gov ).
  • Application materials will be evaluated on these criteria:
    • To ensure diversity in funding, CEAS will prioritise giving funding to libraries across all 16 Library Systems, with a wide range of populations served.
    • Demonstrated need to diversify the library collection and/or program offerings.
  • Click here for full details and ideas for materials and programing.


To apply, please fill out the short application form here.

This program is made possible by a Title VI grant to support international education from the US Department of Education.