Vancouver Community Library named 2003 All-Star

Contact: Deborah Davis
dedavis@ala.org
For Immediate Release
June 2003

Vancouver Community Library named 2003 all-star

Library wins Join the Major Leagues @ your library TM  contest

The Vancouver (Wash.) Community Library, part of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, is the winner of the Join the Major Leagues @ your library™ Library Promotion Contest. Assistant Youth Services Librarian Mike Jansen, who submitted the library’s entry, will attend the Major League Baseball All-Star Game festivities at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, July 13-16. The library was given this award as a result of its efforts to promote the 21st century information literacy initiative.

The Vancouver Community Library added the Join the Major Leagues @ your library program to its summer reading schedule in a variety of ways. The library used the Join the Major Leagues official logo to create baseballs that hung from the ceiling as a way to attract attention for the program and the Join the Major Leagues playbooks were showcased with displays geared toward different age groups. The program was incorporated into the library’s Teen Feature Display as well as displays in the Youth Services Area. The library also prepared booklists for its Children’s Services department.

As part of its outreach efforts, the Vancouver Community Library has scheduled school visits during the month of June to promote the program, where at least 3000 students and parents will hear about the initiative. The library also will be promoting the program at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site where a "Vintage Baseball Game" will be played this summer using rules established in 1860, and it will be publicized as part of the library’s "Books in Bloom" Summer Reading Program. To further push the baseball theme, the library is featuring displays about Women in Baseball and African-Americans in Baseball that will rotate throughout the summer, is sponsoring a Baseball Card Trading Day, and hosting Rob Neyer, ESPN.com columnist and author of Baseball Dynasties, Feeding the Green Monster and Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Lineups.

Assistant Youth Services Librarian Mike Jansen saw the Join the Major Leagues program as the perfect complement to Vancouver Community Library's 2003 summer reading rollout.

"Our flowery 'Books in Bloom' 2004 summer reading theme may appeal more to girls than boys," Mike explained. "The ALA made it easy to also offer a sports-theme program while staff is busy with summer reading activities," he said. "The program really came together when the local baseball club's mascot and Rob Neyer both agreed to appear at the library at no charge. Sharon Robinson's appearance here in the next few months will really cap off the program."

Mike's own childhood enjoyment of baseball trading cards helped inspire the library's "Baseball Trading Card Day" planned for July. He'll bring his personal stash of several thousand cards to the exchange.

"I don't collect the cards any more, but with 600 to 700 players pictured on cards each year, it wasn't hard to accumulate that many growing up," he said. His favorite? "A rookie Tony Gwynn card, a real collector's item."

Libraries of all types were encouraged to submit photos of a display, sample publicity materials, and an explanation of local outreach efforts related to the program. Entries were judged on originality, creativity and community outreach strategy, as well as use of the logo and program materials provided.

The Join the Major Leagues @ your library program, part of ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, centers on an online baseball trivia contest that tests player’s information literacy skills. One grand-prize winner will travel to a designated game of the 2003 Major League Baseball World Series this fall. The Join the Major Leagues program, which launched in April, runs through September 12 and will close out with the grand prize drawing at a Chicago Cubs game. This spring, events took place in libraries and ballparks in Baltimore, Kansas City, Anaheim, San Diego, Cincinnati and Miami. A pre-game ceremony with the Toronto Blue Jays will take place during the ALA Annual Conference. Year 2 of the program targets the Latino community with a new Web site entirely in Spanish, including a bibliography of Spanish language baseball books and films.

Join the Major Leagues @ your library is a program developed by ALA, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The program celebrates and promotes two of America's oldest institutions, baseball and libraries, while heightening awareness of 21st century literacy skills, specifically the use of computers and other media to obtain information and improve communication.

For more information on how libraries can get involved, see the campaign Web site at www.ala.org/@yourlibrary/jointhemajorleagues