Howard library gets $25,000 grant from peace institute for programs

May 25, 1994|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Sun Staff Writer

The Howard County Library has received a $25,000 grant from the United States Institute of Peace to finance local programs examining the issues of international conflict resolution and peacekeeping.

The library was one of seven in the nation to receive the grant three weeks ago from the Washington, D.C.-based educational and research center, which was established in 1984 by Congress.

"We're going to get into a lot of very tough issues," said Pat Bates, adult program coordinator for the Howard County Library. "There's many trouble spots in the world. It's important people get the correct information and get the history of what's going on internationally."

The grant will finance three series of programs at 16 libraries in Howard and Prince George's counties and Baltimore. The Howard County library will help coordinate those programs, which will start this fall.

Topics will include conflict resolution and peacekeeping; the United States and the United Nations in the post-Cold War era; and the ethics of intervention, including military action and economic sanctions.

The discussions will take place during an eight-week period, beginning in September. To prepare, participants will be asked to read essays, parts of books, journals and other materials.

Scholars from area colleges and universities, as well as from the National War College in Washington, D.C., will lecture and lead discussions of programs.

David Smock, acting director of the institute's grant program, said Howard County was awarded a grant because of its strong proposal. "They did a very good job of drawing in experts in the field," Mr. Smock said.

In recent years, the Howard County library has been active in sponsoring public affairs programs. Last month, for example, the library concluded a two-year series on the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Ms. Bates cited Howard County's highly educated residents as the reason for such programs.

"They're very interested in what's going on in the world," she said. "We'll get a broad cross-section of young and old, men and women" at the new series.

And Mr. Smock said that the libraries provide an ideal venue. "We saw this as a chance to strengthen the role of libraries," he said.

In Howard County, the programs will take place at the Central Library and at branches in East Columbia, Savage and Ellicott City. Registration is free and begins Sept. 1. Further information is available by calling 313-1950.

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