July 20, 2005 Library of Congress and the Ad Council Launch New PSAs To Engage America's Youth in Learning About Our Nation's History

Press Contact: Jill D. Brett, Library of Congress (202) 707-2905 | Beth Costiglio, Ad Council, (202) 984-1923

The Library of Congress and the Advertising Council have announced the launch of new public-service announcements (PSAs) designed to encourage youth to learn more about American history by visiting the Library’s Web site, www.loc.gov.

Created pro bono by the advertising agency The Geppetto Group, the television ads, filmed in the style of a horror movie, suggest that learning about history is not really scary, but actually entertaining and fun. The PSAs encourage middle-school students to visit www.loc.gov and conclude with the tagline "Check out loc.gov and see how fun history can be." The Library of Congress provides a wealth of information online in many different ways in its various Web sites.

Since it launched its public service campaign for the Library in 2000, the Ad Council has received more than $195 million in donated media support for the campaign to attract young people to the Library’s educational Web site. The new television PSAs, which are being distributed this week to media outlets nationwide, will run as a public service at times donated by local television stations.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, “The public service campaign has raised awareness in schools and communities of the rich educational content on the Library’s award-winning Web site.” Billington added that the Libary's site now receives nearly 4 billion "hits" annually.

According to Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Advertising Council, "This new advertising is smart and entertaining for young adults. I am confident these PSAs created by The Geppetto Group will show America's youth just how much fun the subject of history can be."

Kids and families logging on to www.loc.gov will find several home page gateways to digital images of more than 25 million American historical items from the Library’s analog collections. The American Memory Web site alone offers more than 10 million digital items in more than 125 thematic collections that range from the papers of U.S. presidents, Civil War photographs and early films of Thomas Edison to papers documenting the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements, Jazz Age photographs and the first baseball cards. The colorful and interactive site America's Library presents information from the Library's collections in the form of engaging stories and games. The Wise Guide to loc.gov is a monthly feature highlighting new and interesting facts and features from the Library's Web site.

Other Library Web pages designed to appeal to young users as well as lifelong learners include Today in History, the National Book Festival, Portals to the World, Everyday Mysteries (fun science facts), Places in the News and exhibitions from the Library's collections.

The Advertising Council is a private, nonprofit organization that marshalls volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council’s PSA campaigns effect positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org.

The Geppetto Group is a New York-based, award-winning advertising and marketing agency dedicated exclusively to kids, teens and young adults.


PR 05-154
ISSN 0731-3527