We have to concede that libraries are first and foremost about the books.
Film has only existed for a fraction of the amount of time libraries have existed.
Even the most amateurish historian can tell you that were no DVDs in the Library of Alexandria.
But the Library of Alexandria was devoted to storing all the knowledge of the Hellenistic world. And at that time, all the knowledge in the world was written on papyrus.
Starting in the nineteenth century, with the advent of audio recording, the written word was no longer the only medium for preserving data. A modern-day Library of Alexandria wouldn’t consist entirely of musty old scrolls. Libraries the world over are embracing multimedia.
Perhaps multimedia has been most enthusiastically adopted by institutions of elementary and secondary education.
It is universally accepted that audio-visual aids are of great importance to early childhood education.
But it would be an unthinkable mistake to suppose that multimedia libraries are simply for children.
It may sound corny, but this really is the Information Age. Researchers will always be coming to libraries for books, and print resources will surely be sufficient for the needs of many. But there is a wealth of information that is only available on film. No format ought to be excluded from a library’s collection.
Film screenings can also be a great way to attract traffic to your library. If readily available e-books have caused membership to dwindle, this sort of event may prove to be an effective antidote. Of course, such a screening would require the acquisition of public performance rights for the film being screened.
The conservative, paper-only model for the library is quickly biting the dust. Even libraries that choose to only carry written resources are offering electronic journals and e-books in addition to printed volumes. Adapting to this new technology means that libraries everywhere will be able to serve the needs of their members more efficiently and completely. The continuing rise of multimedia is changing the library experience for the better. And it’s certainly saving a lot of paper
Need some advice on how to host a film screening? Download our Film Outreach Kit for an overview of what you'll need to do.