Libraries across the country Join the Major Leagues

Contact: Megan Humphrey
Campaign Coordinator
mhumphrey@ala.org
 
For Immediate Release
July 21, 2005

Libraries across the country Join the Major Leagues;
World Series tickets, incentives available

Deep into this year’s baseball season, libraries across the country are celebrating the classic sport and the role libraries play in building 21st century literacy skills by participating in the Join the Major Leagues @ your library® program, developed by ALA, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Since the program began in April, nearly 2,000 libraries have registered for the program. Here are some examples of how a few have gotten involved:

  • All eight branches of the Dakota County (Minn.) Library have used the free resources from the Join the Major Leagues Web site to promote the program. The Join the Major Leagues playbooks are given out at the libraries, the sample press release was customized for local use and the downloadable Join the Major Leagues logo acts as a link from the library’s to the program’s Web site.

  • Seven of the branches of the Lee County (Fla.) Library System have hosted Join the Major Leagues promotional events. Throughout the summer, players from the local minor league team, the Fort Myers Miracles, have made appearances at the libraries for a question and answer session. Billed as family events, the programs also feature giveaways from the team, including baseball cards and game tickets. The libraries create baseball book displays and put out Join the Major Leagues playbooks and the "Baseball Resources" list from the Join the Major Leagues Web site. The system also gave away Join the Major Leagues playbooks at a Miracles game.

  • About 200 kids have signed up at the Holyoke (Mass.) Public Library for its summer promotion, which combines Join the Major Leagues with its summer reading program. Partnering with the local Holyoke Giants, a minor league team, the library invites players from the team to visit the library once a week to help children find answers to questions about the baseball books they’re reading. Answering the questions in turn helps the kids answer the Join the Major Leagues trivia questions . The children must read six books in order to receive an autograph from a player.

The fourth year of the Join the Major Leagues @ your library program launched in April with an events at the Echo Park Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library and Dodgers Stadium. It is designed to help people of all ages build their 21st century information literacy skills. The centerpiece of the program is an online baseball trivia contest that challenges participants to utilize the resources available at the library to answer baseball trivia questions of increasing difficulty. Available in English and Spanish, the trivia questions are organized by age group (10 and under, 11-13, 14-17 and 18 and older).

All of the program’s baseball trivia questions are posted on the  Join the Major Leagues Web site, and answers can be submitted in electronic form. Players can also submit answers by mail.

The grand-prize winner of the program will receive a trip to a designated game of the 2005 Major League Baseball World Series next fall. First-place prizes will also be awarded.

Free downloadable promotional materials are also available to libraries that register on the Web site. Tools include bookmarks, a poster and a toolkit, which includes programming ideas and customizable media relations materials.

Of all libraries that register, the five that bring in the most number of entries will be eligible to win special incentives. The three libraries that bring in the most number of entries will each receive a $100 bookstore gift certificate. The next two libraries that send in the next most number of entries will each receive a $50 gift certificate 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.

All libraries that send in a report detailing how they promoted the program along with sample publicity materials that utilized the official "Join the Major Leagues @ your library" logo will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to mlb.com.

Major League Baseball is a founding partner of The Campaign for America's Libraries. The Join the Major Leagues @ your library program is supported by the Association for Library Service to Children, the Public Library Association, REFORMA, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum.