Public service announcement generates $900,000 in support of libraries

Contact: Megan McFarlane
Coordinator
The Campaign for America's Libraries
(312) 280-2148
mmcfarlane@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release
October 21, 2008

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar PSA seen by 30 million readers

CHICAGO Throughout Library Card Sign up Month, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, could be seen and heard speaking out about the value of owning a library card.

As the Honorary Chair, Abdul-Jabbar donated his time and image to the creation of print and radio public services announcements (PSAs). Print PSAs were placed by ALA in national publications such as Entertainment Weekly, O, The Oprah Magazine, USA Today and many more, generating $900,000 in donated advertising space on behalf of libraries.

Radio PSAs were heard on Westwood One and the Fox Sports Radio Networks, along with many stations across the country as well.

The master of the sky hook, the 7-foot-2-inch Abdul-Jabbar led UCLA to three consecutive NCAA titles and the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers to six NBA championships. But Abdul-Jabbar’s achievements go far beyond the court. He has written several books, including “On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance; “Giant Steps”; “Black Profiles in Courage”; “A Season on a Reservation”; and “Brothers in Arms.” Four of his books reached bestseller lists.

Abdul-Jabbar said, “The library has always been my own personal time machine. I can walk through the doors and land in any place, any time period in history. I didn’t have to wonder what their worlds were like; I could experience it first hand.”

Abdul-Jabbar is featured in his own READ poster at the ALA store. To order, click http://www.alastore.ala.org/SiteSolution.taf?_sn=catalog&_pn=product_detail&_op=2541.

For more information on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, go to his Web site, http://www.kareemabduljabbar.com/.

Held in September, Library Card Sign-up Month is a time to remind parents and children that a library card is the most important school supply of all. Library Card Sign-up Month was launched in 1987.Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child does just that. Free tools to help libraries promote Library Card Sign-up Month are available at www.ala.org/librarycardsignup.