Public Library to offer informal location for children, parents to watch movies

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Children and young adults have opportunities to watch popular movies for free at the Manhattan Public Library throughout the semester.

The movies include “Cars,” “Bridge to Terabithia” and “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.”

From eight-months to 18, children, teens and families of all ages are invited to watch the free showings taking place about once a month in the library auditorium.

Jessica Long, children’s programming assistant for the library, said the screening times are chosen on days kids are let out of school early or have days off, and the expected turnout is anywhere between 10 and 60 people.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to get families into the library,” she said, “especially families that cannot afford to take their kids out to the movies.”

The library’s viewing equipment, which includes a big screen projector and sound system, was implemented in early 2006, said children’s department manager Jennifer Adams.

Since obtaining a film license, Adams said the library has shown movies from a number of different studios, including Disney and Paramount, as soon as they come out on DVD.

“It’s a nice entertainment thing we can do free of charge in a quiet, cool environment,” she said. “I think people feel really comfortable in the library, not just because it’s free, but because it’s a little less formal than being in the movie theater. If kids need to move around or if parents need to get up, leave and come back, it’s not as big of a deal here.”

Janeen Hill, young adult librarian, said most of the movies shown have literary tie-ins or are based on books. This is so the library can promote its literature collection as well as prompt kids who are not big readers to pick up a novel or short story every now and then.

“It’s just nice for (the kids) to have something else to do – to get them out of the house, to have somewhere to meet their friends – even if it’s just for a couple of hours,” Hill said. “It gets them going to the library.”

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