Libraries Step Up to the Plate @ your library

Contact: Megan McFarlane
Campaign Coordinator
(312) 280-2148

For Immediate Release
August 5, 2008

Libraries Step Up to the Plate @ your library

Incentives available for participating libraries

CHICAGO - This summer, libraries across the country are engaging library users of all ages with the Step Up to the Plate @ your library program, developed by the (American Library Association) ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

By registering at, librarians gain access to free tools to help promote the program in their community. Resources include a toolkit with programming ideas and customizable media relations materials, as well as downloadable audio and video PSAs featuring Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.

Libraries that bring in the most number of entries are eligible to win special prizes. The first-prize winner will receive a $100 bookstore gift certificate, a copy of “Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game,’” by Andy Strasberg, Bob Thompson and Tim Wiles, and a baseball autographed by Ozzie Smith. The next three libraries will receive a $50 ALA Graphics gift certificate, a copy of “Baseball’s Greatest Hit” and an autographed ball .

Here are some examples of how a few libraries have “stepped up”:

  • The Philadelphia Force, a professional women’s softball team, helped the Avon Grove Library of West Grove, Pa., promote Step Up to the Plate. Force players read stories, made baseball-themed crafts and autographed pink softballs.  Library computers were linked to the Step Up to the Plate Web site and visitors were encouraged to enter.
  • The Newport News Public Library System of Newport News, Va., created its own Step Up to the Plate @ your library summer reading program. All age groups were encouraged to participate in the Step Up to the Plate program, but adult library users were given extra incentive. For each library book read, adult readers were entered in drawings for weekly prizes from the Norfolk Tides, a local minor league team.
  • The recently reopened Hockessin Library in Delaware hosted a baseball day on June 23, which included the reading of a pop-up version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and baseball-themed crafts and movies.  In addition, each child that turns in a Step Up to the Plate playbook receives  a pack of playing cards donated by the Roberto Clemente Foundation, and other prizes, including tickets a Philadelphia Phillies game, donated by the library’s Friends group
  • Wisconsin’s New Berlin Public Library has promoted Step Up to the Plate @ your library as a tie-in with summer reading.  Children are asked to complete a “challenge sheet,” one of which is a Step Up to the Plate playbook, upon the submission of their reading hours. 

Step Up to the Plate @ your library teams up two American classics – baseball and libraries – to promote the importance of information literacy skills and increase awareness of the library as an essential information resource.

Season three of the program is a whole new “ball game,” celebrating the 100th anniversary of the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” People of all ages are encouraged to use the print and electronic resources at their library to answer a series of trivia questions inspired by the iconic song.  Categories of questions include ballparks, baseball in popular culture, fan experience and baseball pioneers. One grand-prize winner will receive a trip to the Hall of Fame in October 2008.

Library users can visit the Step Up to the Plate Web site at to download a playbook of trivia questions for their age group (10 and under; 11-13; 14-17; 18 and up) or  submit their answers online. 

Step Up to the Plate @ your libraryis part of The Campaign for America’s Libraries, ALA’s public awareness  campaign about the value of libraries and librarians. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a Partner in The Campaign for America’s Libraries. Other 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 efforts that communicate the value of America’s libraries and librarians.