Join the Major Leagues Year One Wraps Up

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

For Immediate Release
October 2002

Join the Major Leagues finishes season in Cooperstown; grand-prize winners head to World Series

Two grand-prize winners are heading to the World Series as part of the Join the Major Leagues @ your library™ program, which culminated this week at a literacy event at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The winners, Catherine Harden, age 27, from Greensboro, N.C., and Taylor Orr, age 11, from Ft. Myers, Fla., were drawn from among those who submitted correct answers to the Join the Major Leagues online baseball trivia contest. Ten first-prize winners also were selected (five from each of two categories, ages 6-12 and ages 13 and over). Each of these winners will receive a copy of Jackie's Nine by Sharon Robinson, a Join the Major Leagues @ your library t-shirt and a History Lives @ your library poster featuring baseball legend Jackie Robinson.

The Baseball Hall of Fame hosted an event focusing on the importance of information literacy and the role that libraries and librarians play. Hall of Famers Bob Feller (Cleveland Indians), Bill Mazeroski (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Phil Niekro (Atlanta Braves, among other teams) joined representatives from the American Library Association and Major League Baseball, as well as 200 local middle school students, for the festivities.

"I can't think of a better place to wrap up the Join the Major Leagues program than the Baseball Hall of Fame. With a research library that has the largest collection of archival baseball materials in the world, the Hall of Fame makes baseball resources accessible to the public like no other institution," says Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson and Vice President of Educational Programming for Major League Baseball. "We were especially thrilled that Bob, Bill and Phil were there to interact with the students."

Robinson led a session with the students and the Hall of Famers using trivia questions from the Join the Major Leagues playbook. Students also had an opportunity to ask the Hall of Famers about their careers and accomplishments. Hall of Fame President Dale Petrosky and Gerald Hodges, ALA Associate Executive Director for Communications and Marketing, also participated.

"Being able to read is the most basic survival skill in an information society, but it isn't enough. With so many options these days, finding the best information has become more challenging. You must know how to be information literate to succeed in school, work and throughout your life," says ALA President Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman. "Librarians are trained experts who help all of us develop our information literacy skills everyday."

Co-sponsored by the ALA and Major League Baseball as part of The Campaign for America's Libraries, the Join the Major Leagues @ your library program launched in May at the Culver City (Calif.) Julian Dixon Public Library and at Dodgers Stadium. The program encouraged players to use their information literacy skills, the resources of their library and the expertise of their librarian to find the correct answers.

@ your library™, The Campaign for America's Libraries is a multi-year public education program sponsored by ALA to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. Founding partners in the campaign include Major League Baseball, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Morningstar Foods Inc., maker of Hershey's Milk, Woman's Day magazine, 3M Library Systems, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.ala.org/@yourlibrary. Information about the Join the Major Leagues @ your library program, including new links to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, can be found at www.ala.org/@yourlibrary/jointhemajorleagues.