Arts Alive @ your library

Contact: Megan Humphrey
312-280-4020
mhumphrey@ala.org

For Immediate Release
August 2002

"Arts Alive @ your library": Arkansas wraps up 20th year of statewide summer reading programs

This year marked the second decade of statewide summer reading programs for the Arkansas State Library, but this year they added something new: @ your library™. "Arts Alive @ your library," the theme of Arkansas summer reading, recently wrapped up three months of celebrating reading and the arts, with more than 25,000 children across the state participating in the program.

The summer reading program furthers Arkansas' support for the @ your library campaign. Last year, the Arkansas State Library and the Arkansas Library Association launched a statewide effort under the slogan, "Information Inspiration Recreation @ your library." The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and support for the state's 1,500 libraries. Arkansas was the first in the nation to get on board @ your library on a statewide level.

Libraries were encouraged to promote the arts using optional sub-themes such as performance arts, graphic arts, tactile arts and folk arts and crafts. Materials provided to public libraries in Arkansas at no cost included registration cards, reading logs, certificates, bookmarks, posters and librarians' manuals.

"The overall reaction to this year's theme was very good. Arkansas libraries are definitely getting used to seeing the @ your library brand," said Cathy Howser, library program advisor for the state library.

The theme allowed libraries a great opportunity to tap into their local resources, Howser said. One library recruited a local high school music teacher to lead a program, while others featured traditional storytimes, craft sessions, storytelling sessions, magicians, dramatic performances, book discussion groups and more.

@ your library, The Campaign for America's Libraries is a multi-year public education campaign launched by the American Library Association to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century.

Founding partners of The Campaign for America's Libraries include 3M Library Systems, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Major League Baseball, Morningstar Foods Inc., maker of Hershey®'s Milk, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, and Woman's Day Magazine.