Movie events make great library programs, whether they’re targeted at children, teens, or adults. Conveniently, most libraries have vibrant and extensive circulating collections of DVDs to choose from. However, due to U.S. intellectual property laws, a library needs to purchase a license to screen most movies. In fact, civil penalties for unlicensed public performances start at $750 for each inadvertent infringement and go as high as $150,000 for each egregious violation.
The way most libraries gain permission to screen films is through umbrella licenses from either one or both of the following companies (the licenses cover different films, so you’ll want to check carefully to see who, if anyone, covers the movies you want to show):
Financial literacy is important for both kids and adults alike. For children, this might mean understanding fiat currency and the power of money, but as teens turn into adults, this will include budgeting, understanding credit, taxes, mortgages, and retirement preparations. Programs can be targeted at a specific age demographic and bring in speakers from local financial institutions or CPAs. Librarians can partner with local schools' finance classes to assist with activities for young adults.
Book speed dating is a fun program that encourages patrons to read books that they may not normally pick up.
All you need to do is set up a few tables, gather the books ahead of time (these can be a mix of fiction and nonfiction, create a scorecard, and have a timer (or watch/clock) available.
The participants start by picking a book that they would like to “meet.” They get about 3 minutes with that book to read the description and the first few pages. At the end of the 3 minutes, they fill out their scorecard and move to the next table. If they liked the book, they can take it to the next table with them. If, at the next table, they find a book that they like better, they must leave the first book at that table – at no time should they have 2 books at once. When the program is done, the participants get to check out the books they have chosen.
Another way of doing this is for the participants to sit in a circle and pass their books to someone else, instead of going to different tables each round. It may help to vary the way the participants pass the books on by having them pass 3 to the right one time and 5 to the right another time, etc.
It has also been suggested that, if a participant can’t find a book they feel connected to, there should be a “Blind Date table” that he/she has to choose a book from at random.
Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.