ALA joins MySpace and the Illinois Library Association to promote online safety

Contacts: Deborah Caldwell-Stone
Deputy Director, OIF
Robert P. Doyle

Illinois Library Association

Tracy Akselrud
For Immediate Release
June 12, 2007

ALA joins MySpace and the Illinois Library Association to promote online safety

MySpace will distribute one million free Internet safety bookmarks at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference during National Internet Safety Month

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) today announced that it has joined with MySpace and the Illinois Library Association (ILA) to distribute one million free bookmarks containing tips on Internet safety at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference on June 21-28, in Washington D.C.

The bookmarks are printed as a series, each aimed at a specific audience including kids, teens, and parents. By distributing these bookmarks, MySpace and the library community hope to help educate youth and parents to make safe and informed decisions online. The launch of the bookmarks also coincides with National Internet Safety Month which is held annually in June.

"We are delighted that MySpace is printing another one million bookmarks for the 2007 ALA Annual Conference,” said ALA President Leslie Burger. "Millions of Americans of all ages depend on libraries for access to essential information, including a lot of important services provided through social networking software. Libraries are already one of the safest places in our communities for families and children to use the Internet, and these bookmarks are a great example of how libraries all around the country are making this happen.”

The partnership between MySpace and the library community reinforces a commitment to keeping youth safe online while they are using social networking sites. The Internet Safety Bookmarks act as a powerful tool to disseminate these messages free of charge to a large and applicable audience. The bookmarks also provide parents with tips on social networking and communicating with their children about their online activity.

"One of the primary concerns of the library community is the safety of children. These bookmarks are just one example of how the library community is partnering with MySpace, parents, and police to help children learn how to use the Internet and to become savvy users of information," said Robert P. Doyle, ILA Executive Director. "We know there are legitimate concerns about the Internet. We know, however, that the best way to protect children is to teach them to guard their privacy and make wise choices. These bookmarks provide an excellent starting point for parents, educators, librarians, and police to start the discussion and to promote safe use of the Internet."

The Internet Safety Bookmarks contain information on the safety topics below, as well as links to additional online resources.

*Dealing with Cyberbullies: Tips for Kids

*Safe Blogging: Tips for Teens

*Social Networking: Tips for Parents

"Through this partnership, our goal is to educate both parents and teens and empower them to talk to one another about online safety," said Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer for MySpace. "Education is the key to online safety and these bookmarks are an effective tool to teach smart online practices that teens and parents can use anywhere on the Net, including on MySpace."

The Internet Safety Bookmarks are also available to download at

Users can customize the bookmarks and print them locally. In designing the bookmarks, space was created allowing for parents, youth and teens to add information about their library and/or their favorite Web sites on this topic. MySpace, the American Library Association and the Illinois Library Association hope all users make the Internet safety bookmarks their personal bookmark of choice.

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest, largest, and most influential library association in the world.

The Illinois Library Association is the voice for Illinois libraries and the millions who depend on them.

MySpace, a Fox Interactive Media company, is the premier lifestyle portal for connecting with friends, discovering popular culture, and making a positive impact on the world.