DUBLIN, Ohio, March 7, 2014. Libraries in communities across the country will partner with Redbox, America's destination for entertainment, and OCLC to produce free, fun, public entertainment events. Developed and funded by Redbox, "Outside the Box" will bring people together for these events in 20 new communities this year.
During a 2013 pilot program, 12 Outside the Box events reached over 3,000 people around the country. Pilot efforts were led by public libraries and their communities, and supported by OCLC and consultants at the Project for Public Spaces (PPS).
Building on the pilot's success, Outside the Box will extend to 20 new communities in 2014, reinforcing the goal of creating great places where community members can gather and connect. Public libraries will remain central to Outside the Box, leading community planning sessions and event design.
"Like Redbox, libraries are committed to providing access to popular content and programs, engaging and building communities and contributing to local development. We are delighted to continue this compelling work to produce more events and more opportunities for engagement in local communities," said Chrystie Hill, Community Relations Director for OCLC.
"Through the Outside the Box partnership, Richland Library was able to engage stakeholders, target a wider audience, and produce two large-scale events based on community insight and ideas," said Melanie Huggins, Executive Director, Richland Library (Columbia, South Carolina), one of the participants in the pilot project. "It allowed us to explore our brand promise of being ‘fresh and fun' and helped us create a vision for an active green space at our Main Library. The experience was a unique learning opportunity for our staff, and we are honored to have been part of the pilot program."
"Cuyahoga County Public Library's mission is to be at the center of community life," said Sari Feldman, Executive Director, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library, another pilot participant. "Our participation in the Outside the Box program fully reinforced our mission in that it provided us with exciting tools to create highly engaging community events. We were thrilled to be selected for the pilot program and appreciated how all partners—Redbox, OCLC and Project for Public Spaces—valued the notion that bringing people and families together around fun, entertaining experiences can be a powerful catalyst for strengthening community."
New Outside the Box activities will kick off this spring, with each community designing and hosting events from arts festivals to concerts, outdoor movies and more. Following online training on placemaking and event design, communities will apply to be part of the program. Participating communities will be chosen based on key characteristics such as geographic and ethnic diversity, median household income and local leadership. The project's online resources will be open and available to all. Watch the Outside the Box website for news and information on how to get involved.
"It has been gratifying to see the positive effect that Outside the Box activities and events had on communities in the pilot project. We are thrilled to continue the Outside the Box project helping people make their communities stronger through shared entertainment experiences," said J. Scott Di Valerio, Chief Executive Officer of Outerwall, Inc. and interim president of Redbox.
"OCLC is proud to continue its partnership with Redbox. The Outside the Box pilot has shown that libraries, through public-private partnerships, are a powerful platform for community engagement. We are excited to support new project developments and to continue to work with Redbox and libraries to create positive, meaningful experiences in local communities," said Cathy De Rosa, OCLC Vice President for Global Marketing and the Americas.
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing library costs. More than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world's largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat.org on the Web. For more information, visit the OCLC website.
Redbox, a subsidiary of Outerwall Inc. (Nasdaq: OUTR), offers new-release DVD, Blu-ray Disc and video-game rentals through its network of conveniently located, self-service kiosks. Redbox has rented more than 3.3 billion discs and is available at approximately 35,000 locations nationwide, including leading grocery, drug and convenience stores, and select Walgreens, Walmart and McDonald's locations. For more information, visit www.redbox.com and for more information about Outerwall Inc., visit www.outerwall.com.
About Project for Public Spaces
Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Founded in 1975 to expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, the author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, its pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs. PPS has completed projects in over 3,000 communities in 40 countries and all 50 U.S. states, and partners with public and private organizations, federal, state and municipal agencies, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations and other civic groups. Visit www.PPS.org for more information about Placemaking and PPS' transformative agendas for public spaces.