Campaign Launch Release

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

For Immediate Release
March 2001

Celebrate @ your library™

ampaign for America's Libraries to launch during National Library Week 2001

This year's National Library Week promises to be one of the most exciting ever thanks to the public launch of The Campaign for America's Libraries. Libraries of all types are invited to participate in National Library Week (April 1-7). The campaign is ALA's new, five-year public education effort to educate people about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century.

The theme for National Library Week 2001 is @ your library™. National Library Week will feature a national kickoff event and a host of local events to introduce the @ your library™theme to the public.

"National Library Week is a perfect time to launch The Campaign for America's Libraries to the public," said Nancy Kranich, ALA president. "National Library Week is our national holiday, a time to open our doors to the public and remind everyone about our various programs, services and technologies. It's also a time to say 'Come see what's new @ your library.'"

The campaign kickoff will be designed to introduce the campaign, attract media attention, and begin the process of reminding consumers that libraries are dynamic, modern community centers for learning, information and entertainment.

"The launch is an opportunity for all libraries to begin telling the story of today's libraries and to communicate the campaign's key messages: libraries are changing and dynamic, places of opportunity and bring you the world," added Kranich.

A key message of the campaign is that libraries are places of opportunity, which speaks to how libraries are an indelible part of the American Dream. To illustrate and personalize this theme, libraries are encouraged to identify a local "celebrity" campaign chairperson or chairpersons for their individual library or library organization who embody the spirit and principles of today's libraries.

Libraries are urged to hold an event, at which the campaign chair is presented with a giant @ your library™card. A template with artwork for this card is available on the campaign Web site at www.ala.org/@yourlibrary under National Library Week. Ideas for organizing a local campaign launch can be found on the Web site as well.

Ideal candidates for campaign chairs are people who have benefited from their experiences at the library, such as a celebrity originally/currently from your community, a sports figure, a local college or university dean, school principal, parent, senior citizen, high school student or someone who has a story about how the library has made a difference in his or her life.

As a backdrop to this event and as a way to showcase the vastness of library resources, libraries are also encouraged to create programs, events and displays focusing around ALA's five key action areas -- 21st Century Literacy, Diversity, Education and Continuous Learning, Equity of Access and Intellectual Freedom. Libraries are urged to dedicate one full day to each of these key action areas or as much time as is available.

Programming suggestions for all types of libraries focusing on each of these five key action areas are featured on the campaign's Web site under National Library Week. Additional tools for promoting National Library Week, such as sample press materials, a National Library Week proclamation and downloadable graphics are also available on the site.

The Web site, which is part of the "living campaign," features general information on how to get involved. Suggestions on how to use the logo, talking points, ideas for ongoing programming, downloadable logos and more are among the tools available. Libraries can also sign up for the campaign and join an e-mail newsletter to be the first to receive campaign news and updates.

Libraries are urged to send a brief summary of National Library Week/campaign kickoff activities and sample materials to: Sara Groves, ALA Public Information Office, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. Or e-mail the campaign at: atyourlibrary@ala.org. Please include contact information for your library or organization.