Opening day of Join the Major Leagues @ your library celebrated today in Los Angeles

Contact: Megan Humphrey
Campaign Coordinator
mhumphrey@ala.org
For Immediate Release
April 15, 2005

Opening day of Join the Major Leagues @ your library® celebrated today in Los Angeles

New online game, incentives for librarians highlight fourth year of program

The fourth year of the Join the Major Leagues @ your library® program, developed by ALA, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, kicks off today at the Echo Park Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library and at Dodgers Stadium.

Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, and consultant with Major League Baseball, led local children through the program’s baseball trivia questions. Robinson promoted the program as part of her activities commemorating Jackie Robinson Day, which pays tribute to her late father who broke baseball’s color barrier.

Through September 9, library users of all ages can participate in the Join the Major Leagues program by visiting www.ala.org/@yourlibrary/jointhemajorleagues. An online baseball trivia contest challenges participants to use the resources available at the library to answer baseball trivia questions for their chance to win a trip to a game of the 2005 Major League Baseball World Series.

For the first time this year, library users will be able to submit their answers online as well as through the mail. Questions are also available in both English and Spanish. A drawing will be held from among all eligible entries to determine the grand-prize winner.

The library staff at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a program supporter, once again developed this year’s trivia questions, which are organized by age group (10 and under, 11-13, 14-17 and 18 and older).

Other program supporters include the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), the Public Library Association (PLA), REFORMA and the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum.

"Join the Major Leagues @ your library" celebrates and promotes two of America’s oldest institutions -- baseball and libraries -- while heightening awareness of 21st century literacy skills: the use of computers and other media to obtain information and improve communications.

To help librarians promote the program, ALA has prepared a toolkit with sample press materials and programming ideas, program logos, bookmarks, posters and mascot artwork. To access, visit www.ala.org/@yourlibrary/jointhemajorleagues and click on "How Librarians Can Get Involved."

Librarians must go through a short registration process in order to access the tools and are eligible to receive a free program poster courtesy of Major League Baseball while supplies last. Since registration began in February, nearly 800 librarians have registered.

Incentives and prizes will be offered this year for the top five libraries that bring in the greatest number of entries. The three libraries that bring in the most number of entries will receive a $100 bookstore gift certificate; the next two will receive $50 gift certificates to ALA Graphics. The first 200 libraries that bring in at least 25 entries will receive a free Jackie Robinson History Lives poster from ALA Graphics, and all libraries that send in a report detailing how they promoted the program will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to mlb.com. See the program Web site for more details.

Join the Major Leagues @ your library is part of ALA’s  Campaign for America's Libraries, its multi-year public awareness and advocacy campaign to promote the value of libraries, librarians and library workers in the 21st century. Major League Baseball is a founding partner of the campaign.