Local Library and Theatre Tag-team to Nurture a Literacy-Rich Community in Waynesboro, PA

Posted by Devon W., Book Specialist on Feb 26th 2019

Since January 2017, Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library, The Waynesboro Community Theatre Project, and High Rock Studios located in Waynesboro, PA have been partnering up to produce incredible literacy-based projects for the community.

We spoke with Kirsten Hubbard, owner of Ghost Writer, who handles the development and marketing for their most successful program yet - Novel Reels!

How It All Came Together

Back in December 2015, after their renovation was thoroughly supported by the community, Waynesboro Theatre wanted to give back…but didn’t know how.

That’s when they reached out to Ghost Writer, described by owner Kirsten as “a business that helps to connect nonprofits with funding sources so they can bring their ideas and programs to fruition.”

With Kirsten’s help, the Waynesboro Theatre team determined that literacy was a standout need in the community – and lo and behold Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library was just down the block!

Together, they formed Novel Reels: a quarterly program that pairs literacy with entertainment.

Book-Based Entertainment

The goals of the program are to create a literacy-rich community, encourage connection, help drive library traffic and promote downtown circulation to support revitalization efforts.

Participants are invited to a free book-based movie at the theatre, managed and run by New Vision Cinemas.

Viewers are then provided snacks, offered an activity sheet to spark conversation, encouraged to participate in a correlated event, and given a copy of the book to take home complete with a special redeemable coupon for another related library book tucked inside.

The first featured book and film combo was The Hobbit– an enchanting story about an unassuming halfling who traverses through the wild on a grand quest, overcoming fears, gaining courage and discovering his love for adventure along the way; it aired at the Waynesboro Community Theatre in January 2017.

“We are very proud of this program and the incredible impact it is having on our community. I love working with the library and have come to understand the depth of their involvement in our community.” Kirsten declared.

Let the Shows Go On

Each quarter, picking the perfect book and paired film is a collaborative and exciting process for all.

Novel Reels aims to include everyone in the fun by featuring diverse stories that target different audiences.

“It is a wonderfully successful program, often selling out,” Kirsten explained. “So far, the program has put over 1,600 books in the hand of the community, driven 600 library visits, 14% of which signed up for new library cards. In our town of about 10,600 that is an enormous impact!”

Titles and movies presented so far, along with these unique activities, include:

The community is encouraged to share what they would like, the library stays up to date on popular titles & flicks, and the theatre puts on the show – what an inspiring, integrative program!

Why Bulk Bookstore?

With access to over 3 million different books including novels, children’s books, professional development and more, we are the one-stop shop for supporting all reading programs!

We love helping these programs succeed by providing excellent prices and one-on-one assistance to the organizations we serve. It has been such a joy to see The Waynesboro Community Theatre Project and Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library’s program Novel Reels thrive since we first began working with them.

Let us support your next literacy event, reach out to our Book Specialists today!