As a prelude to its annual National Book Festival in Washington on Sept. 29, the Library of Congress launched a series of public outreach initiatives designed to promote the joy of reading and to share the Library’s programs and collections with the public.
Lifelong Literacy: “Explore New Worlds—Read”
The Library and the Advertising Council announced a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) developed to inspire young people to “explore new worlds” through reading and to promote literacy in all types of learning, including books, periodicals and cartoons, through a new Web site at www.literacy.gov.
The new PSAs, created pro bono by The Geppetto Group, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and the Brigham Young University Ad Lab, are based on fiction classics “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and “The Chronicles of Narnia,” as well as stories of King Arthur and the Round Table. The PSAs aim to inspire children in grades four to six to get more enjoyment out of reading and thereby inspire them to become lifelong learners.
“Young people who read throughout their lives are not only more knowledgeable, but they are also better citizens and more engaged in the world around them,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The Library of Congress promotes lifelong literacy because reading is the cornerstone of any nation’s global competitiveness, cultural health and collective wisdom.”
“Our partnership with the Library of Congress has been exciting and tremendously rewarding,” said Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Education is a core value of the Ad Council, and we’re proud to inspire kids to become lifelong learners with this campaign.”
According to the National Institute for Literacy, success in school, and life, starts with literacy. When young people become good readers in the early grades, they are more likely to become better learners throughout their school years and beyond. While parental involvement is critical, it ultimately comes down to inspiring individuals not only to read books, but also to find their own passion about reading in all forms.
The new PSAs, which are being distributed nationwide, can be viewed on the Ad Council’s Web site and at the Library’s Lifelong Literacy Web site. In addition, a new “Storybook Adventure” game on the site encourages young readers to explore three worlds from classic children’s literature: Oz, Aladdin’s realm and The Little Mermaid’s undersea world.
The Ad Council is a private, nonprofit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has effected, and continues to effect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org.
Public Outreach: E-mail, Podcasts, Home Page
The Library also announced an expansion of its home page at www.loc.gov to better organize and highlight the many programs, events and collections available to the public at no charge through its extensive, award-winning Web site, as well as a new section that gives users an easy search path to the most popular topics and collections.
In addition, the Library launched two services to address the many requests of its customers for the delivery of direct content. A new e-mail update function lets users choose from a number of different topics and receive regular updates by e-mail, depending on their interests. Update services include such varied areas as upcoming readings and concerts from the Library, news from the John W. Kluge Center, a poem each day, the latest in science reference, updates to copyright legislation and breakthroughs in the area of preservation. The service expands and enhances the series of RSS news feeds launched by the Library earlier this year.
Also, the Library will begin to make its unparalleled resources more accessible to the wired world with the launch of a series of podcasts. The introductory programs, available at www.loc.gov/podcasts/, feature interviews with and readings by authors who will be appearing in person at this year’s National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Future podcasts will include presentations from the more than 70 authors taped at the festival on Sept. 29. For more information on the National Book Festival, visit www.loc.gov/bookfest/.