Interact with and Entertain Library Patrons
Film Presenters screen movies at the different branches in the Arlington Library system.
Mary Prisbrey, Shirlington librarian, described how this function is performed at her branch.
Film Presenter at the Shirlington Branch Library
Function: Selects and show movies
Current number of volunteers: 2
Hours: Early evening, 2-3 hours
Special Skills: Comfort with technology, love of movies
Shirlington has two dedicated Film Presenter volunteers: one who selects the movies to be shown and the other who shows them. Of course, the process is a little more complex than that.
About a month before a film will be presented, volunteer Barbara Goldstein swings into action. Using her understanding of the types of films that might interest library clientele and her knowledge of what films are available, Barbara selects a movie. She then checks to see if the library has the rights to show the movie, and orders it.
When movie day arrives, Shirlington’s second Film Presenter volunteer takes over.
Shirlington screens movies twice a month, at 4:30 PM and 6:00 PM. The volunteer arrives about 20 minutes before screen time, picks up the film from a staff member, arranges the room, and then uses the high-tech projection system (see picture) to run the movie. The Film Presenter stays in the room during the screening to provide special equipment to hearing-impaired patrons, if requested, and to ensure all the equipment continues to function. (Given the high-tech equipment in use, it’s useful if the Film Presenter is comfortable with troubleshooting technology!) After the movie completes, the Film Presenter turns off the equipment, straightens the room, and returns the movie to a staff member.
Mary says that movie night is a critical outreach function for the Shirlington branch. Some of the branch’s patrons may not have television or the resources to buy movie tickets, and this service provides a fun night out. Other patrons enjoy the lure of the big screen and interaction with other viewers…a cinema experience for free, rather than spending a night alone at home!
– by volunteer Laura West and Shirlington Branch librarian Mary Prisbrey
Interested in becoming a Library volunteer? Check out the Current Openings on our Volunteer Page.