As parents prepare to send their children back to school, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is teaming up with the American Library Association's (ALA) Campaign for America's Libraries to help promote the best school supply of all – a library card.
September will mark the 21st anniversary of Library Card Sign-up Month, and thousands of libraries throughout the country will celebrates the important role that libraries play in the education of children. With the help of this year's honorary chair, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the ALA hopes to encourage children to visit their local library and obtain a library card.
Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer and author, knows the value and importance of visiting the library.
"I would encourage young people to use the library as a place to learn and grow," said Abdul-Jabbar. "It gives them the ability to open doors to new adventure and more knowledge."
Children who use their library do better in school. Studies in more than 19 states provide abundant evidence that students tend to perform better on state achievement tests at schools with certified school library media specialists as well as support staff. Further studies indicate that children who are read to in the home and who use the library are more likely to continue to use the library as a source of lifetime learning.
After retiring from the NBA, Abdul-Jabbar drew upon his love of history and his desire to popularize the contributions made by African-Americans to American culture and history. As a result, Abdul-Jabbar's is now a best-selling author. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement," "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes," "A Season on the Reservation: My Sojourn With the White Mountain Apaches" and his latest work "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."
Abdul-Jabbar appears in ALA's Celebrity READ poster series with his favorite book "Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, and is one of the many sports celebrities who have donated their time and image to advocate for libraries, literacy and reading.
Abdul-Jabbar's poster is currently available on the ALA Store Web page, www.alastore.ala.org , and can be found in libraries and classrooms throughout the country.
The Campaign for America's Libraries is the American Library Association's (ALA) public awareness campaign that highlights the value of libraries and librarians. Campaign Partners include Dollar General, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Woman's Day magazine. The Campaign is made possible in part by ALA's Library Champions, ALA's highest level of corporate members, who support public awareness and advocacy for America's libraries. For more information on the Campaign, visit www.ala.org/@yourlibrary
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 65,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information. For more information on the ALA please visit www.ala.org