ALA and the State Library of North Carolina use new technology to promote Library Card Sign-up Month

Contact: Megan McFarlane

Campaign Coordinator

(312) 280-2148


For Immediate Release

September 23, 2008

(CHICAGO) Every September the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country remind children, parents and caregivers that a library card is the most important school supply of all. But as the next generation of library card holders become increasingly tech-savvy, so too does library messaging.

This year, in conjunction with its print public service announcement (PSA) the State Library of North Carolina is hosting a podcast with spokesperson and world-renowned saxophonist, Branford Maralis. During the podcast Marsalis urged North Carolina residents to visit their local library to get the smartest card – a library card. Marsalis also recounted what the library meant to him growing up.

“The library was a very crucial aspect of my education,” explained Marsalis, who made frequent trips to the library to give him a competitive edge during his high school years.

Marsalis’ podcast with library consultant Pam Jaskot can be heard on the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Web site at:

Jaskot also created a short video to promote Library Card Sign-up Month on her blog at The video features photographs of Marsalis and young adults that took part in a press conference event that the library used to kick off the month.

ALA is also using Web 2.0 technology to celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month. All throughout September librarians and library lovers are encouraged to visit ALA Island in Second Life for free downloads of print and radio quality public service announcements created for Library Card Sign-up Month, and featuring Honorary Chair Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. They are available to download for use “in world” and “out world” at the Campaign for America’s Library kiosk on ALA Island.

Visitors to the island are encouraged to show their library card pride by taking a snapshot of their avatar holding an “@ your library” library card. Snapshots can be posted on the Constellation of Library Stars gallery. Virtual library cards are available at the ALA Main Stage.

The ALA Island/ALA Main Stage is located at 128, 107, 29. In Second Life, teleport there directly:

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 in a national effort each fall to ensure every child does just that. Free tools to help libraries promote Library Card Sign-up Month are available at

The Campaign for America's Libraries is the ALA's public awareness campaign about the value of libraries and librarians. For more information on the Campaign visit .