America's Library (www.americaslibrary.gov), the Library's Web site for children and families, has handled more than 100 million "hits" since its April 2000 debut.
"This milestone is a testimony to the Web site's appeal to both children and families," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "With its colorful, interactive elements, America's Library has been instrumental in making the Library's collections more accessible to people of all ages."
The site has also received numerous awards: Revolution magazine's 2001 "Revolution Award" for best use of digital media by a nonprofit organization; the National Association of Government Communicators' Blue Pencil Award for Best Web Pages for 2000, Forbes magazine and Forbes.com's "Best of the Web"; 2001 Notable Children's Web Sites, from the American Library Association; Best ‘Hot Sites' of 2000, from USA Today; 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.
Through the use of stories, richly embellished with photographs, maps, prints, manuscripts, and audio and video recordings from the Library's collections, America's Library invites users to learn about their past through extraordinary, at times idiosyncratic, materials, many of which have never been seen by the public. Activities such as a "Scavenger Hunt" and "Send a Postcard" encourage exploration of the site, and animated "teasers" on the main home page will delight users of all ages. Questions invite children to talk to their family and friends about what they have learned.
Bold graphics and bright colors entice users to click on the following main home page links: "Meet Amazing Americans," "Jump Back in Time," "Explore the States," "Join America at Play" and "See, Hear and Sing."
As of December 2000, the site had received an estimated $35 million in free advertising support on television, radio, and the Internet. America's Library marks the first time in its history that the Library of Congress has created a public service advertising campaign in partnership with the Advertising Council. This campaign—"There Is a Better Way to Have Fun with History … Log On. Play Around. Learn Something"—was created through the Advertising Council, with creative services donated by DDB Chicago. The spots were distributed to 3,200 television stations and more than 6,000 radio stations nationwide. DDB recently won the silver award in the Non-Profit/Pro Bono/Public Service category of the New York American Marketing Association's 2001 EFFIE Awards for the America's Library campaign.