Children's singer Bill Harley reminds children ”there's so much to see, so much to do” at the library

Contact: Diane Foote
Executive Director, ALSC
312-280-2162
dfoote@ala.org
For Immediate Release
November 14, 2006

Children’s singer Bill Harley reminds children
"there’s so much to see, so much to do" at the library

National Kids! campaign invites families to explore libraries

(BOSTON) When Grammy-nominated children’s singer/storyteller Bill Harley took to the stage on Sunday at Boston Public Library to perform for Boston families, it was no ordinary concert. His message: "There’s so much to see, so much to do @ your library."

Harley helped kick off the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Kids! @ your library® Campaign, a new national effort to raise awareness of all the free resources available for children and families and encourage all parents to bring their school-age children to their public libraries.

"Our goal is to get all school-aged children to use the library and to remind children and parents that the library is a place to learn, explore and have fun - a place for the whole family," said Ellen Fader, ALSC past president. "After all, studies show that children who are read to in the home and who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning."

To help libraries get the word out, Harley created an original song for the campaign called "@ your library" that includes the "so much to see, so much to do @ your library" refrain. A chorus of New England kids who recorded the song on his album joined him onstage to sing along.

"Every child needs a safe place to fall - a place where he or she can explore things without worrying about failure and judgment," said Harley. "A library is one of those places. In a library you can learn by following your own nose, which is very different from someone telling you what you should learn. Once a kid learns a library is hers, to use as she wants, the world opens up. I’ve seen it happen. It happened to me."

More than 54 million children attend library programs every year, taking advantage of homeschooling resources, mother-daughter book clubs, bilingual storytime and more. About 708 million children’s books, CDs, DVDs and more are circulated annually.

"At the Boston Public Library, we’re proud to be among the public libraries nationwide that offer resources for kids’ fun and learning," said Boston Public Library Director Bernard Margolis.

The programs and services currently offered at Boston Public Library to children include "Kids Cinema," during which children watch movies together with parents.

Along with the national campaign, ALSC has also launched a new Web page of resources for families. At www.ala.org/families, children and their parents will find a list of award-winning children’s books, kid-friendly Web sites, downloadable games and activities and resources for parents to help support reading at home.

The Kids! @ your library initiative is part of The Campaign for America’s Libraries, a multi-year public awareness and advocacy effort by the American Library Association to speak loudly and clearly about the value of libraries, librarians and library workers in the 21st Century.

For more information about Kids! @ your library, please visit  www.ala.org/kids.

View photos from the event