“Kids! @ your library” singer/songwriter nominated for Grammy Award

Contact: Megan McFarlane / Laura Schulte-Cooper 
Campaign Coordinator / Program Officer
mmcfarlane@ala.org / lschulte@ala.org
For Immediate Release
February 11, 2008

"Kids! @ your library" singer/songwriter nominated for a Grammy® Award

From Beyoncé to Justin Timberlake, there were a lot of big-name nominees at Sunday’s 50th Annual Grammy® Awards, but for the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), one of the nominees was a little closer to home.

Children’s singer/storyteller Bill Harley was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Musical Album for Children for his release, "I Wanna Play." Included on the album is the song "At Your Library," which ALSC, a division of ALA, commissioned Harley to write for its "Kids! @ your library" campaign.

"We are thrilled about Harley’s nomination," said Stephanie Bange, chair of ALSC’s public awareness committee. "He has always been a great advocate for libraries."

The campaign was developed to raise awareness of the free resources available for children and families at libraries. Harley helped launch the campaign to the public with a free concert at the Boston Public Library in 2006 and also made an appearance at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans that same year.

"A library to me is the heart of what our culture is about, a place where we can go and learn on our own time, in our own space," said Harley at the campaign’s launch.

Several versions of the song and a 25-second public service announcement are available for free download on the  "Kids! @ your library" Web site. Sheet music and lyrics are also available, along with tips on ways to use the song locally.

Libraries across the country have done just that. Librarians at the Walla Walla (Wash.) Public Library opened the library’s summer reading program by singing and playing the song to energize participants. In Anchorage, Alaska, fifth graders at Klatt Elementary School used the song during the introduction of a video tour of the library. Second graders at Foster Elementary School in Pittsburgh used the song in  a music video about the library as part of a digital storytelling assignment developed by the librarian.

"I heard the song right before I began my first year at Foster Elementary school, and I thought ‘That really sums it up!’" said school librarian Bridget Belardi.

The song’s refrain "so much to see, so much to do" became incorporated in the campaign itself, with "so much to see, so much to do @ your library" logos available in both English and Spanish. Other tools included on the Web site are a sample communications plan, public relations materials, games and puzzles and more.

More examples of how libraries have used tools from the "Kids! @ your library" campaign are available on the campaign’s  best practice wiki. Librarians can also submit their own best practice examples.

"Kids! @ your library" was developed by ALSC in conjunction with The Campaign for America’s Libraries, ALA’s public awareness campaign designed to promote the value of libraries and librarians. 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 on behalf of America’s libraries. For more information, visit  www.ala.org/@yourlibrary.