New stories have been added to the "Amazing Americans" and "Explore the States" sections of the America's Library Web site for kids and families, available at www.americaslibrary.gov. In just nine months, from its debut on April 24, 2000, until Jan. 31, 2001, the site has registered more than 75 million hits.
The site has also received numerous awards: the National Association of Government Communicators' Blue Pencil Award for Best Web Pages for 2000; 2001 Notable Children's Web Sites, from the American Library Association; Best 'Hot Sites' of 2000, from USA Today; Forbes magazine and Forbes.com's "Best of the Web"; the "Standard of Excellence Award" in the Web 2000 Awards from the Web Marketing Association; the "2000 New Media Invision Bronze Award for Best Education Site for Kids"; and the "Gold Mercury Award" in MERCOM's Mercury Awards Competition
This new Web site, which was designed to present history in a fun and interesting way using photographs, sounds, short films and other visual elements, has recently added 14 new "Amazing Americans," including Amelia Earhart, W.E.B. Du Bois, Pocahontas, King Kamehameha, Cesar Chavez, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mark Twain. There are three stories for each new Amazing American and interactive "teasers" that draw users to the new stories about such topics as Earhart's flying exploits, Du Bois's quest for equal rights for all Americans, Kamehameha's success in uniting all the islands of Hawaii, Wright's lasting impact on modern architecture and Twain's great American novel.
In the "Explore the States" section, an interesting story about each state and the District of Columbia is now available. Do you want to know where and how the ice cream cone was invented? Or how coal power fueled the industrial revolution? Or who was the first Spanish explorer to visit the Grand Canyon? The answers are in "Explore the States."
America's Library is a project of the Public Affairs Office and the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress. It marks the first time in its history that the Library of Congress has created a public service advertising campaign in partnership with the Ad Council to promote a service. This campaign -- "There Is a Better Way to Have Fun with History ... Log On. Play Around. Learn Something" -- was created through the Ad Council, with creative services donated by DDB Worldwide in Chicago.
The spots can be heard on radio and seen on television and the Internet. The Ad Council is a private, nonprofit organization that has been the leading producer of public service communications programs in the United States since 1942. The council supports campaigns that benefit children, families and communities. The communications programs are national in scope and have generated strong, measurable results. Ad Council campaigns, such as "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk," "Take a Bite Out of Crime," and "A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste," have helped to save lives and resources, to educate the public about issues and concerns of the day and to make America a healthier country in which to live. In 1998, Ad Council campaigns received more than $1 billion in donated media time and space.
DDB Chicago is the largest of the DDB agencies worldwide, with more than 750 employees and 1999 billings of $1.2 billion. The agency works for a strong roster of blue-chip clients such as Anheuser-Busch, Energizer, FTD, General Mills, Lands' End, McDonald's, Sara Lee, State Farm and US West Communications.
"America's Library" was designed by 415 Productions Inc. of San Francisco. 415 Inc. is a full-service Web development firm providing custom online solutions that combine integrated strategy, cutting-edge technology, creative design and innovative user experiences. From Fortune 500 enterprises to internationally recognized arts organizations and upstart dot-coms, 415's clients include Macromedia, McGraw-Hill, Hewlett-Packard, Credit Suisse, 3Com, Fairmont Hotels, Intel, Hasbro, Lego and Providian Financial.
The content of the Web site has been reviewed by historians in the Library of Congress as well as by Distinguished University Professor of American history James B. Gilbert at the University of Maryland.