Baltimore Orioles Team Up with Maryland Libraries

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2009 Summer Reading Club Promotion Is a Hit!

By Paula Isett, Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services

Originally appeared in the summer 2009 edition of The Crab, newsletter of the Maryland Library Association

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Library Development and Services announced the Statewide Summer Reading Kick-Off on Saturday, May 30 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. This event marked the official opening of the 2009 Summer Reading Club themed, “Be Creative @ Your Library,” and has been celebrated in all Maryland public libraries. By registering for free at their local public library, children and teens from birth through high school participated in this program.

An exciting partnership for the 2009 Summer Reading Club included the Baltimore Orioles, who donated a limited number of free tickets to each Maryland public library. This is the second year that the Orioles have supported the Summer Reading Club, but the first year that the opening celebration was held at Camden Yards. In addition to special seating for a limited number of library customers, the scoreboard displayed public service announcements for the 2009 Summer Reading Club.

On August 17 during a pre-game ceremony on the field at Camden Yards, representatives from each library system were recognized. The Orioles even picked one of the Summer Reading Club participants to throw the first ball! Other summer reading participants from each of the 23 counties and Baltimore City received tickets to one of four games in August culminating with the August 17 game. County libraries used the Oriole tickets as incentives for the summer reading program.

To participate, students chose their own reading material such as books, magazines or graphic novels and tracked their progress using the reading logs provided through the program. In 2008, more than 150,000 children and teens in Maryland participated in the Summer Reading Club. The program is a cooperative project between the local public libraries, the Maryland State Department of Education and the Division of Library Development and Services, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.