Reach For A Star, Ask A Librarian
In 1990 Lakeview HS students in Battle Creek, MI wrote letters to celebrities, asking for items of memorabilia. Local TV news coverage shows a display set up in the school library. The project supported ALA's Reach For A Star, Ask A Librarian theme, marking National Library Week almost a quarter of a century ago! .
Tags: Libraries Ask A Librarian Lakeview High School School Libraries
Added: 6 months ago
[scene opens with a male news anchor speaking directly to the camera]
ANCHOR: Did you ever write to your favorite celebrity, only to change your mind at the very last minute because you think you'd seem foolish? Or if you were gonna ask for something, you thought you'd never get anything back? Well, that thought never apparently entered the minds of some Battle Creek high schoolers.
[cut to a female reporter speaking directly to the camera]
REPORTER: Last fall, about three hundred Lake View high school students started a project for National Library Week, which just happens to be this week. They wrote letters to celebrities in the hopes of getting responses, and did they ever! News Eight's Scott Harrison shows us what they got.
[cut to several high school students standing around displays showing memorabilia from various celebrities]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] What better way to promote National Library Week than to enlist the support of the stars? Under the theme "Reach for a Star," these Lake View High School students wrote three hundred and twenty letters to their favorite celebrities in sports, politics, science, and entertainment. Eighty people responded, and their memorabilia was on display in the school library.
[cut to a female librarian ("Margaret Lincoln, School Librarian") speaking directly to the camera]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] The idea came from the school librarian, who didn't expect much of a response at all.
MARGARET LINCOLN: Yes, I knew it was ... um, maybe a long shot in many cases, but if you don't try, you don't know what the response is out there.
[cut to more memorabilia on display in the library]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] The exhibit featured personalized artwork from "The Cat in the Hat" by Doctor Seuss, and a pen from Art Sampson used to draw his "Born Loser" comic strip.
[cut to a signed photo of Tom Selleck]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] Most of what's on display are letters and autographed pictures.
[cut to a drawing of Mickey Mouse holding a book with "Public Library" printed on the cover]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] One student wrote to Mickey Mouse, because she loves Disneyland.
[cut to a Utah Jazz basketball jersey sitting on one of the tables]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] "The Mailman" Karl Malone delivered a jersey.
[cut to a letter signed by Yuan T. Lee ("Professor of Chemistry")]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] Another student wrote to a Nobel Prize winning chemist ...
[cut to a signed photo of Janet Evans]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] And to Olympic swimmer Janet Evans, because chemistry and swimming are her hobbies.
[cut to a signed photo of Don Zimmer]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] One girl wrote to Cubs manager Don Zimmer, supposedly because of his positive attitude.
[cut to a female student ("Meri Gaylord, Sophomore") speaking directly to the camera]
MERI GAYLORD: I really wanted to go to a Cubs game
MERI GAYLORD: I was hoping for some tickets, but I was really happy to get something back. It's kinda, it shocked me that he wrote back and stuff.
[cut to some pictures and memorabilia from Larry Rippenkroeger (including a jersey with "Ripper" and the number 3 printed on it)]
SCOTT HARRISON: [in voice over] And then we have a student who wrote to California jet ski champion Larry Rippenkroeger ... Larry who?
[cut to a male student ("Dave Haughey, Freshman") speaking directly to the camera]
DAVE HAUGHEY: Yeah, that's about it. And then I showed that and they were all like, "Wow, that's pretty good!" Because most people just got, like, a picture. And so, they were real happy with what I'd got back, but y'know, still, nobody knows who he is.
[he laughs, then cut to the reporter speaking directly to the camera]
SCOTT HARRISON: The students will be eligible to win cash prizes by voting for their favorite celebrities, and they'll get to keep the memorabilia they received. In Battle Creek, Scott Harrison for Live at Five Thirty.
[cut back to the anchor, who is speaking to the reporter via satellite]
REPORTER: That is an innovative project!
ANCHOR: That really is. Y'know, I had an idea one time to write this millionaire I knew and ask for a million bucks ... Never did it!
REPORTER: You never ... Well, give it a try!
ANCHOR: See? I chickened out at the last second!
REPORTER: You don't know until you ask.
ANCHOR: Right, you never know!
[scene opens with a male reporter speaking directly to the camera]
BARRY SHANDLING: Students at Lake View High School in Battle Creek are celebrating by reaching for the stars.
[cut to another shot of the students in the school library, as "300 South 28th Street Battle Creek" appears on screen]
BARRY SHANDLING: [in voice over] That's the theme for the week, so the kids wrote to their favorite stars or celebrities, and in sixty five cases the stars reached back and sent letters, pictures, and memorabilia.
[cut to a female student ("Kara Ohlin, Sophomore") speaking directly to the camera]
KARA OHLIN: I was impressed at all the, there were a few personal letters that they wrote themselves, and I thought that that was really neat.
[cut to a photo of Michael Jordan next to one of his wristbands]
BARRY SHANDLING: [in voice over] Some of the items of note included a wristband worn by Michael Jordan ...
[cut to a copy of the book "Here's Ed"]
BARRY SHANDLING: [in voice over] A book and letter from Ed McMahon ...
[cut to a signed baseball]
BARRY SHANDLING: [in voice over] And a Willie Mays baseball ...
[cut to the signed photo of Tom Selleck]
BARRY SHANDLING: [in voice over] And a photo of Tom Selleck.
[cut to four reporters sitting around a news desk]
BARRY SHANDLING: But no John Wendel weather wands, I guess. I didn't see any there.
JOHN WENDEL: No Barry Shandling news scripts, either! I didn't see those!
[they all laugh]
[scene opens with the librarian waving to the camera, as "Hello West Michigan, Lakeview High School Battle Creek" appears on screen]
MARGARET LINCOLN: Hello, West Michigan!
[cut to several shots of students and teachers waving to the camera, as they all say "Hello, West Michigan!"]