Twenty-five libraries selected to host “Pride and Passion” traveling exhibit

Contact: Angela Thullen
Program Officer, Communications, PPO
312-280-5286
athullen@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release
September 9, 2008

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in association with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, announced that 25 libraries have been selected to host “Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience,” a traveling exhibition telling the story of black baseball players in the U.S. over the past century and a half.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) provided major funding to the ALA Public Programs Office for the traveling exhibition. “Pride and Passion” is based upon a permanent exhibition of the same name on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y.

Libraries selected for the tour will host the 1,000-square-foot exhibit for six weeks. They will receive a $2,500 grant from NEH for attendance at an exhibit planning workshop and other exhibit-related expenses. Participating libraries will present at least two free public programs featuring a lecture or discussion by a qualified scholar on exhibition themes.  All showings of the exhibition and related programs will be free and open to the public. 

Baseball is one of America’s central institutions and it has long reflected the complicated and painful history of race in the United States. The story of African Americans in baseball is a remarkable and fascinating slice of American history, displaying the failures of the greater American society in solving the racial problems resulting from slavery, the Civil War and the confusion of Reconstruction. Through a cultural timeline of American history that will be part of the “Pride and Passion” exhibit, visitors will be able to place the African American baseball story into the larger context of American history. For more information about “Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience,” visit www.ala.org/publicprograms.

The libraries selected to host the “Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience” exhibit (in alphabetical order by state) are:

  1. Huntsville-Madison County Library, Huntsville, Ala.
  2. City of San Jose/San Jose State University King Library, San Jose, Calif.
  3. Daytona Beach College Library, Daytona Beach, Fla.
  4. DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, Ga.
  5. Des Moines Public Library, Des Moines, Iowa
  6. Oak Park Public Library, Oak Park, Ill.
  7. Fort Scott Community College Library, Fort Scott, Kan.
  8. Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, Ky.
  9. Ouachita Parish Library, Ouachita, La.
  10. University of Massachusetts/Amherst W.E.B. DuBois Library, Amherst, Mass.
  11. Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, Md.
  12. Albion District Library, Albion, Mich.
  13. Detroit Public Library, Detroit, Mich.
  14. Rolling Hills Public Library, St. Joseph, Mo.
  15. Bladen County Public Library, Elizabethtown, N.C.
  16. Holly Springs Branch Library, Wake County Library System, Holly Springs, N.C.
  17. Omaha Public Library, Omaha, Neb.
  18. Ocean County Library, Toms River, N.J.
  19. New York Public Library Countee Cullen Branch, New York, N.Y.
  20. Poughkeepsie Public Library, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
  21. Pennsylvania State University/Harrisburg, Harrisburg, Pa.
  22. Spartanburg County Public Libraries, Spartanburg, S.C.
  23. Harris County Public Library, Lone Star College-CyFair Branch, Cypress, Texas
  24. Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, Wis.
  25. Natrona County Public Library, Casper, Wyo.

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has a strong track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It!," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library®, and other programs. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment fund created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming ( www.ala.org/ccf).  For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit www.ala.org/publicprograms.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., was dedicated on June 12, 1939. The National Baseball Hall of Fame Library, also founded in 1939, is the largest repository of baseball information in the world. The Library is responsible for the acquisition, organization, preservation and dissemination of all archival material related to the history of baseball and its impact on culture and society. The library contains more than 2.6 million items, housed in climate-controlled areas and maintained by a professional staff using state-of-the-art archival techniques. For more information, please visit http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/index.jsp

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, new technologies, exhibitions and programs in libraries, museums and other community places. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.