ALA, Major League Baseball launch second inning of

 

Contact: Deborah Davis
312-280-2148

For Immediate Release
April 15, 2003

ALA, Major League Baseball launch second inning of Join the Major Leagues @ your libraryTM

Hispanic community outreach highlights second year of initiative

The American Library Association (ALA) and Major League Baseball will officially launch the second year of Join the Major Leagues @ your library™ at the Enoch Pratt Free Library and at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md., on Thursday, April 24.

Join the Major Leagues @ your library is designed to heighten awareness of 21 st century literacy skills: the use of computers and other media to obtain information and improve communication.   The program helps people of all ages build their information literacy skills, while celebrating and promoting two of America’s oldest institutions in ballparks and libraries.

"Join the Major Leagues is a great opportunity for people to explore the tremendous resources available at their local library while learning about one of America's favorite pastimes," says ALA President-Elect Carla Hayden, Ph.D., executive director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. "Most importantly, they can learn from skilled library professionals how to navigate overwhelming amounts of information at their fingertips."

In 2003, the Join the Major Leagues @ your library program will reach out to the Hispanic community with a new, Spanish-language Web site which includes a new bibliography of Spanish-language baseball books and films. Local events promoting the program also will be held throughout the spring in the following cities: Kansas City, Cincinnati, San Diego, Anaheim and Miami. A pre-game ceremony with the Toronto Blue Jays will be held during the ALA Annual Conference in June and the program will have a presence at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Chicago as well.

“We’re thrilled with the response to the pilot year of Join the Major Leagues @ your library and with the extension of its reach to the Hispanic Community in year two,” said Sharon Robinson, Vice President of Educational Programming for Major League Baseball.   “It’s a natural given the fact that a significant percentage of the Major League Baseball community is composed of people of Hispanic heritage.”

The centerpiece of the program, which runs until September 12, 2003, is an online baseball trivia contest that tests players’ information literacy skills and encourages them to use the resources of their library and librarian to find the answers.   Players who answer questions correctly are eligible to win the grand prize – a pair of tickets to the 2003 Major League Baseball World Series. Twelve first-prize packages include a copy of the book "Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live By," by Sharon Robinson, a Join the Major Leagues @ your library T-shirt and a Jackie Robinson READ poster from ALA Graphics.  

The library staff at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., in consultation with ALA members, developed this year’s baseball trivia questions. Questions are divided into four “playbooks” corresponding to different age groups (children up to age 10; ages 11-13; 14-17; and 18 and up) and are organized by increasing difficulty to test a variety of information skill levels. Players are invited to download the playbook appropriate for their age group from the official Web site at: www.ala.org/@yourlibrary/jointhemajorleagues.

ALA and Major League Baseball will once again sponsor a contest for the best local promotion tied to the program. The winning library will receive a weekend prize package, including tickets to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Chicago on July 15, as well as an event with Sharon Robinson at the library. Official rules for the 2003 Library Promotion Contest rules, an entry form and information about last year’s winner, Loudoun County (Va.) Public Library, are posted under “Librarians and the All-Star Game.”

To help librarians prepare for and publicize the initiative, ALA has posted resources on baseball and information literacy, as well as a toolkit with marketing tips and suggestions, sample press materials, downloadable artwork and more.   Click on “How Librarians Can Get Involved.” Questions about the program should be sent via email to: atyourlibrary@ala.org.

Join the Major Leagues @ your library is a program developed by Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the ALA.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a supporter of the campaign. Other founding partners include 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 (IFLA) and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.