Movie and game rental business Redbox and OCLC will launch a pilot program this summer that will sponsor arts festivals, concerts, outdoor movies, and other free public entertainment events in partnership with local libraries. The program, called “Outside the Box,” will begin with five libraries: the Billings Public Library, MT, the West Town Branch of the Chicago Public Library, the Richland Library, Columbia, S.C., Chattahoochee Valley Libraries in Columbus, GA, and the Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH. Pilot libraries were selected based on criteria that include geographic and ethnic diversity, median household income, and local leadership.
Through the program, the libraries help their communities select and organize the local entertainment initiatives, while Redbox will provide event resources as well as local marketing support. OCLC and the consulting group Project for Public Spaces will lend dedicated project management expertise. Participating communities will have access to unique materials to support these events, including outdoor movie screens, blankets, tents, tables and seating, stages, or licensed access to movies or games, according to the announcement.
While OCLC has a long history of partnering with foundations and public institutions, this program marks the organization’s first private-sector partnership, Cathy De Rosa, OCLC VP for global marketing and the Americas, said in the announcement.
“‘Outside the Box’ will demonstrate that libraries, through public-private partnerships, are a powerful platform for community engagement,” she said.
“Public libraries were chosen as a launching pad for ‘Outside the Box’ because they are trusted institutions in local neighborhoods,” Chrystie Hill, community relations director for OCLC, said in an announcement. “Like Redbox, libraries are committed to providing access to popular content and programs, to engaging and building communities, and contributing to local development.”
“Entertainment provides a way for people to connect with each other and the world around them,” said Kiera Hynninen, senior VP of marketing for Redbox. “We know that when people are more socially interconnected, communities thrive. Through ‘Outside the Box,’ Redbox will support neighbors in finding more ways to connect with each other, and we hope this will have a lasting impact, well beyond the program.”
On infoDOCKET.com, Gary Price asks whether participating libraries will be able to market their services, including their video collections, at the events, and whether there are any limitations on what libraries can promote.