Libraries “Step Up to the Plate” @ your library

Contact: Megan McFarlane

Campaign Coordinator
For Immediate Release

July 9, 2007

Libraries “Step Up to the Plate” @ your library

Incentives available for participating libraries

Nearly 1,000 libraries have registered for the Step Up to the Plate @ your library® program, developed by the ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

By registering at, libraries 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.

Libraries that bring in the most number of entries are eligible to win special prizes. The library that brings in the most entries will get a $100 bookstore gift certificate and a copy of Lawrence Hogan’s Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African American Baseball (published by National Geographic Society). The next three libraries will receive a $50 ALA Graphics gift certificate and a copy of Shades of Glory.

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

  • The Beckman High School Library in Irvine, Calf., distributed a packet of information about Step Up to the Plate to community baseball and softball coaches. The packet included a program entry form and an annotated list of baseball books available at the library. The library posted additional information its Web page and on AXIS TV, a message system that broadcasts daily throughout the school.

  • At the Grand Rapids Area Library in Grand Rapids, Minn., library staff will be featured on a local radio sports show to discuss the program and the importance of reading. The library will also team up with the local parks and recreation department on a baseball-themed event where baseball books will be awarded to children.

  • The Mountain Ridge Middle School Library in Colorado Springs, Colo. is promoting Step Up to the Plate @ your library as a summer reading contest. The library will collect the entries in the fall giving out gift certificates for the school bookstore prizes.

  • The Dakota County Library in Dakota County, Minn. hosted a visit from Minnesota Twins mascot T.C. Bear, who read to children and passed out autographed photos.

Developed by the ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Step Up to the Plate @ your library brings together two of America’s favorite pastimes – baseball and libraries – to encourage reading. Children and young adults between the ages of 9 to 18 are invited to go to their library, check out a book about baseball and describe how their favorite character inspired them. One grand prize winner will receive a trip to the Hall of Fame in October 2007.

First-place prize packages also will be awarded (five in each of four age categories: age 9-11; 12-14; 15-16 and 17-18). Prizes include a commemorative hardbound copy of the Hall of Fame Yearbook; Hall of Fame t-shirt; commemorative set of 20 Hall of Fame Baseball cards; DVD copy of the classic baseball movie, “The Sandlot;” miniature souvenir Akadema Pro baseball glove; and a Jackie Robinson History Lives poster from ALA Graphics.

The program concludes September 1, 2007.

Step Up to the Plate @ your library is part of The Campaign for America’s Libraries, ALA’s public awareness and advocacy campaign about the value of libraries and librarians. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a Campaign Founding Partner. Supporters of the Step Up to the Plate program include the American Association of School Libraries (AASL); the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC); the Public Library Association (PLA); the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA); and REFORMA, the Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, an affiliate of the ALA.