Kansas City Public Library wins 2003 Grolier National Library Week Grant

Contact: Megan Humphrey



For Immediate Release

January 29, 2003

Kansas City Public Library wins 2003 Grolier National Library Week Grant

Scholastic Library Publishing increases grant award to $5,000 for 2004

The Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library is the winner of the 2003 Grolier National Library Week Grant for its program "Future librarians @ your library™."

The $4,000 grant, sponsored by Scholastic Library Publishing and administered by the American Library Association (ALA) Public Awareness Committee, is awarded to a United States library for the best proposal for a public awareness campaign in support of National Library Week (April 6-12). This year, libraries were asked to develop a National Library Week proposal using the "@ your library™" brand to promote the value of librarians in the 21st century. @ your library is the brand for The Campaign for America's Libraries, ALA's multi-year public awareness initiative to promote the value of libraries and librarians in the 21st century. This year, 83 proposals were submitted, making this the third straight year that a record number of entries were received for the award.

The Kansas City Public Library, working with the local Boys and Girls Club, will help build "Future librarians @ your library." A three-month partnership, the program will pair 25 area youth (ages 6-14) with library staff members to introduce them to opportunities in the library profession. The library also will host a first annual "Library Olympics" that will emphasize the need for skilled librarians in the future.

Leading up to the "Library Olympics," the young people and library staff will participate in two activities together so that they can get to know each other and the youngsters can learn what it takes to be a librarian. The "Library Olympics" will feature librarians and the "Future librarians" in four fun events during National Library Week: "Do you know your Dewey," a competition that will have each team responding with Dewey classification to book titles that will be called out by a moderator; a book cart race that will require teams of two to race to a finish line; a spelling bee that will have the youth assisting library staff in a lightning round spelling bee competition; and a "Library bowl" during which librarians will test their reference skills by answering questions posed by a celebrity moderator.

The event will serve as a community awareness campaign for the library profession and is open to the public. Several organizations, such as colleges and universities in the area that offer a masters in library science, non profits and other community organizations will be invited to host activity booths.

"This year we challenged libraries to promote the role of librarians rather than the programs and services that libraries provide, and I'm happy to say that libraries rose to meet that challenge. We received some very creative proposals," said Amy Small, chair of the 2003 Grolier National Library Week jury. "The Kansas City proposal was a perfect example of reaching out beyond the library community to let people know what important skills, training and expertise librarians have."

The Kansas City Public Library has used the @ your library brand to promote library programs, such as "Black History Month @ your library" and "Teen Read Week @ your library," since 2000. Additionally, the library has recently used the brand to promote the its 130th anniversary, which falls this year, as well as the opening of a new central library in November 2003.

The 2003 Grolier National Library Week jury members included: Amy Small, chair, manager of external relations, Westchester (N.Y.) Library System; Leslie Burger, director, Princeton (N.J.) Public Library; Karen Downing, foundation/grants librarian, University of Michigan; Anne M. Turner, director of libraries, Santa Cruz (Calif.) City-County Library System and president, California Library Association; and Harriet Selverstone, adjunct professor, Pratt Institute (New York), School of Information and Library Science and Library Media Consultant. A copy of the
winning proposal is available online at the
campaign Web site under "What's New" and "National Library Week."

Starting with the 2004 grant, Scholastic Library Publishing will increase the amount of the award from $4,000 to $5,000. The grant will be renamed the "Scholastic Library/Grolier Grant." Applications will be posted on the @ your library Web site in early summer, and all types of libraries are encouraged to apply.

"Scholastic and Grolier recognize the great deal of effort that goes into preparing an application for our annual grant, and we felt that the financial terms of our award should be commensurate with that effort," said Phil Friedman, vice president and publisher of Scholastic Library Publishing.

@ your library™, The Campaign for America's Libraries, launched to the public during National Library Week 2001. Since then, more than 10,000 libraries of all types in all 50 states are being reached by the campaign. To learn more about the campaign and how your library can get on board during National Library Week and throughout the year, please visit the
campaign Web site.

Libraries are encouraged to send multiple samples of their involvement in the campaign for use in presentations, trainings and articles to: Megan Humphrey, Campaign Coordinator, ALA PIO, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Samples also may be sent electronically to: