Nearly 1,400 libraries “Step Up to the Plate @ your library”

Contact: Megan Humphrey
Campaign Coordinator
mhumphrey@ala.org
For Immediate Release
July 18, 2006

Nearly 1,400 libraries "Step Up to the Plate @ your library";
incentives available for participating libraries

Libraries across the country are celebrating an all-American summer pastime and the role libraries play in building 21st century literacy skills by participating in the Step Up to the Plate @ your library® program, developed by ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Since the program began in April, nearly 1,400 libraries have registered for the program at www.ala.org/baseball to gain access to free tools to help promote the program locally. Tools include a toolkit with programming ideas and customizable media relations materials, downloadable audio and print PSAs featuring Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith and more.

Libraries that bring in the most number of entries are eligible to win special incentives. The library that brings in the most entries will get a $100 bookstore gift certificate, a copy of Lawrence Hogan's Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball (published by National Geographic Society) and three copies of Satch and Me by Dan Gutman (published by HarperCollins).

The next three libraries will receive a $50 ALA Graphics gift certificate, a copy of Shades of Glory and three copies of Satch and Me.

Here are some examples of how a few libraries have gotten involved:

  • The Craft Memorial Library in Bluefield, W.Va., brought fans and players together at the library when it hosted players from the Bluefield Orioles, a local minor league team. After fans met with the players, they used the reference materials and computers set aside for the event to find the answers to the Step Up to the Plate trivia questions. All completed playbooks were collected by the library to mail on the players’ behalf. Refreshments and door prizes were available to all who attended.
  • The Washington-Centerville Public Library in Ohio has tied Step Up to the Plate into local events and programming. The program was a hit with the 1,000 visitors to Centerville's Americana Festival, where visitors to the library’s booth participated in a bean-bag-toss game for a chance to win baseball cards and bubble gum. Each player received a Step Up to the Plate playbook. At the end of July, the library will host "Baseball Card Fever," bringing in the owner of a local baseball card and comics store to present a how-to program on baseball card collecting. Participants at this event will also take home a Step Up to the Plate playbook.
  • Library staff from the Mullica Hill Branch of the Gloucester County (N.J.) Library took the message to the community, passing out information about the program to all coaches of the local softball and little league teams to pass on to parents and players.
  • The Greenville (S.C.) County Library System helped its 12 branches get a jump start on promoting the program by providing each with a packet containing copies of the Step Up to the Plate playbooks and a sign to display at the circulation desks. A mascot from the Greenville Drive, a local minor league team, also visited two of the branches to help promote the program.
  • The Muhlenberg County (Ky.) Public Libraries proved the program is not just for kids by passing out bookmarks using the Step Up to the Plate logo at Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club meetings in addition to senior adult programming locations.
  • The Davenport (Iowa) Public Library brought the program to the ballpark by teaming up with the local minor league baseball team, the Swing of the Quad Cities, to promote the program with announcements on the Jumbotron during the game.

Step Up to the Plate @ your library® encourages people of all ages to improve their 21st century literacy skills by using the library’s resources to look up the answers to a series of baseball trivia questions. Available in English and Spanish, the trivia questions are organized by age group (10 and under, 11-13, 14-17 and 18 and older).

One grand-prize winner will win a trip to the Hall of Fame's World Series Game One Gala event in Cooperstown, N.Y., in October and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum. The grand prize also includes an Ozzie Smith autographed baseball.

Twenty first-place prize packages also will be awarded, including a commemorative hardbound copy of the Hall of Fame Yearbook, Hall of Fame t-shirt, commemorative set of 20 Hall of Fame baseball cards and more.

All of the program’s baseball trivia questions are posted on the  Step Up to the Plate Web site, and answers can be submitted in electronic form or by mail.

The  National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a founding partner of  The Campaign for America's Libraries. The Step Up to the Plate @ your library program is supported by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Public Library Association (PLA), REFORMA, and the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum.