For immediate release | October 4, 2011

Wisconsin teen wins Step Up to the Plate @ your library grand prize

CHICAGO – Twelve-year-old Kelsey Willems will soon be on her way to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y., thanks to the resources at her school library and some quality family time with her father.

In the grand prize drawing for the Step Up to the Plate @ your library program, Baseball Hall of Fame Library Director Jim Gates pulled Willems’ entry from the 1,000 eligible entries baseball fans nationwide sent in over the spring and summer. For her win, Willems and her father will head to the Hall of Fame at the end of the month to attend its World Series Gala event and receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the library and archives.

Developed by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Hall of Fame, Step Up to the Plate officially wrapped up its sixth season with the national drawing. The program teamed up two American classics - baseball and libraries - to promote libraries and librarians as essential information resources. People of all ages were encouraged to use the print and electronic resources available at their library to answer a series of trivia questions developed by the Hall of Fame’s library staff.

Willems’ language arts teacher and her school librarian introduced the Step Up to the Plate program to students. Students were encouraged to practice researching skills at home by completing the answers and submitting them for the grand-prize drawing.

Willems’ had an additional resource at home in her father, Robert, a lifelong Milwaukee Brewers fan. Father and daughter worked to answer the questions together and used the skills she had learned at her school library to verify the answers online.

“It’s a good year to be a both a Brewers and library fan,” said Willems’ mother. “Kelsey and her sister always use their school library, and as a family we visit the public library once a month.”

Step Up to the Plate @ your library is part of the Campaign for America’s Libraries (, ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a Partner in the Campaign for America’s Libraries, is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of the game and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience, as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime.

Other Campaign Partners are Carnegie Corporation of New York, Disney Book Group, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Lifetime Networks and Scholastic Parent & Child magazine

For more information, visit


Megan McFarlane