October 26, 2001 New Games, Activities and Reading Lists Added To America's Library Web Site for Kids and Families

Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

Many new interactive features have recently been added to the highly successful America's Library Web site for kids and families at www.americaslibrary.gov.

America's Library was designed specifically for kids and families to provide a fun, and educational, experience. The site draws on the incomparable American historical collections of the Library of Congress, and it has handled more than 100 million transactions since its debut in April 2000.

The site is in five sections, and each section has the following new features:

  • Meet Amazing Americans now contains presidential "Scavenger Hunt" and "Dynamite Presidents" games that encourage users to explore the Web site while learning about America's presidents. For example, players of "Dynamite Presidents" will learn that Thomas Jefferson is famous not only for writing the Declaration of Independence but also for selling his personal Library to the Library of Congress.
  • Jump Back in Time asks users to try to become a "Super Sleuth" as they identify "what's wrong with this picture." At first glance nothing seems wrong with a photo of Calvin Coolidge -- until one notices that he is holding a cell phone.
  • Explore the States' "Treasure Hunt" offers little-known facts about the states and the District of Columbia. Even more can be learned about the states by reading the more than 260 new stories that have been added. The stories, called Local Legacies, reflect the unique cultural traditions of the nation.
  • Join America at Play wants to "play ball" in the "Batter Up" game. The "pitcher" blows a bubble gum balloon, winds up and asks "On Opening Day of the 1916 Major League Baseball season, who threw the first ball?" President Woodrow Wilson made that historic pitch.
  • See, Hear & Sing's "Jammin' Jukebox" lets users hear such popular tunes of the past as "Over There." While listening, they will learn that the composer, George M. Cohan, also wrote the patriotic "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "You're a Grand Old Flag."

Reading lists of related books encourage children to read more about what they have learned. The lists were complied by the Center for the Book (www.loc.gov/cfbook) in the Library of Congress. The center's current reading promotion campaign is "Telling America's Stories."

America's Library is a project of the Public Affairs Office and National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress. The site draws upon the flagship American Memory collections (www.loc.gov) that offer more than 7 million important historical items, in collaboration with other institutions. More than 100 American Memory collections are available online in topics ranging from presidential papers and photographs from the Civil War, to early films of Thomas Edison and panoramic maps, to documents from the women's suffrage and civil rights movements.

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 won the silver in the Non- Profit/Pro Bono/Public Service category of the New York American Marketing Association's 2001 EFFIE Awards for these spots. To date, the site has received an estimated $38 million in free advertising support on television, radio and the Internet.

The Advertising 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 educate the public about issues and concerns of the day.

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 U S 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 Hewlett-Packard, McGraw-Hill, Macromedia, Credit Suisse, the Library of Congress, 3Com, Fairmont Hotels, Hasbro, Intel, Lego and Providian Financial.


PR 01-158
ISSN 0731-3527