New season of Step Up to the Plate @ your library® begins

Contact: Megan Humphrey
Campaign Manager
mhumphrey@ala.org
For Immediate Release
April 3, 2007

New season of Step Up to the Plate @ your library® begins;
promotional tools for librarians available online

(CHICAGO) Just as baseball season is officially gearing up all across the country, so is the second season of the Step Up to the Plate @ your library®  program, developed by ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

This year, two of America’s favorite pastimes – baseball and libraries – team up for literacy. Kids and young adults between the ages 9 to 18 years of age are invited to go to their library, pick out a baseball book and describe how their favorite character inspired them. Entries can be submitted in both English and Spanish from now until September 1.  One grand prize winner will receive a trip to the Hall of Fame in October 2007.

Librarians can visit the program Web site now at www.ala.org/baseball to register for free promotional tools to help promote the program locally. Tools include program logos and a toolkit that includes sample press materials and programming ideas.

The first 100 libraries to register will receive a Jackie Robinson History Lives poster from ALA Graphics. Librarians can also win incentives for participation in the program. More information is available on the Step Up to the Plate Web site.

The Step up to the Plate @ your library program will officially launch April 15th and 16th in Peoria, Ill., with program spokespeople and Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith. Sandberg is the manager of the Minor League’s Peoria Chiefs and will help kick off the program.

First-place prize packages also will be awarded (five in each of four age categories). They will include a commemorative hardbound copy of the Hall of Fame Yearbook; Hall of Fame t-shirt; commemorative set of 20 Hall of Fame baseball cards; DVD copy of the classic baseball movie, "The Sandlot;" miniature souvenir Akadema Pro baseball glove; and a Jackie Robinson History Lives poster from ALA Graphics.

Step up to the Plate is part of The Campaign for America's Libraries, ALA's public awareness and advocacy campaign about the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century.  The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a Campaign Founding Partner.   Other Founding Partners include Dollar General, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and Woman's Day magazine. The Campaign is made possible in part by ALA’s Library Champions, ALA’s highest level of corporate members, who support public awareness and advocacy for America’s libraries.  For more information on the Campaign, visit www.ala.org/@yourlibrary.