The Vancouver Island Regional Library is encouraging teens to find their inner Steven Spielberg in its I Love My Library video contest.
People aged 13 to 18 can create a live-action or animated short video and upload it to the popular Internet video-broadcasting service YouTube by Oct. 29 for a chance to win cash prizes of $500 for first place, $250 for second and $150 for third.
“As you know, teens are really busy so they don’t always have time to come to the library so they can do this on their own time,” said Sooke librarian Adrienne Wass.
“They basically get to produce a video one to three minutes on why they love their library and why they think libraries are needed more than ever now.”
The contest allows the middle and high schoolers to get creative and showcase their music, acting and art skills, she added. They need permission from a parent or guardian since winners will have their videos also posted on the VIRL website. Adults can be consulted for help, but planning, production, and selection of subject matter had to be created entirely by people under 18.
“It’s a good opportunity for teens to just make something by teens.”
Wass said that demographic is important for the library because what often happens is kids stop going when they get to 12 or 13 years old.
“You want them to continue going to the library and not have that gap where you don’t really see them during high school and then they come back when they’re adults,” she chuckled.
To help connect with the tech-saavy generation, VIRL has recently launched initiatives like starting a Facebook page, acquiring ereaders and launching teen-specific programs like the video contest and the teen reading club during the summer.
To be eligible, pick up a form at the Sooke Library or go to www.virl.bc.ca/news/i-love-my-library-teen-video-contest. Fill it out and drop it off or scan and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on Oct. 29. The only other stipulation is that the phrase “I love my Vancouver Island Regional Library” has to appear at least once somewhere in the video.
The library is also celebrating Halloween at the end of the month — people can bring carved pumpkins between Oct. 24 and 29 to help decorate the library, and the creations will be judged in adult, teen and kids categories on Halloween day. Also on the 31st families can show up in costume for spooky story time and crafts, no registration is required and all ages are welcome.