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We believe what starts at the library can transform an entire community! Following our successful pilot program, we are thrilled to announce another year of Outside the Box – a partnership between library service non-profit OCLC and Redbox – to provide free, fun entertainment events in local communities across the United States centered around public libraries and their public spaces. This year, up to 20 communities will be selected for Outside the Box, with the local library driving community brainstorming and planning sessions and hosting events.

Program participants will create a shared community space and hold an initial kickoff event at the site, to introduce it as a gathering place for the community now and for years to come. What results is civic Placemaking at its finest: an unused, grassy stretch of land outside the library becomes a small park, with benches and shade umbrellas, where people can read or visit outdoors; a library parking lot is turned into a public market space for weekend use; a park adjoining the library is used for a community concert or public storytelling event.

Through a competitive application process, libraries and their communities will be chosen for the program based on key characteristics such as geographic and ethnic diversity, local leadership, and innovative ideas for events and community activities. If you’re involved in a public library, you’re welcome to apply! Participants selected for Outside the Box will receive consultation and support from OCLC and Project for Public Spaces on event and space design, event planning and material selection, and a selection of up to $5000 in reusable materials provided by Redbox.

Apply now to transform your community! All application materials must be submitted via email by May 15, 2014. Visit the Outside the Box website for more information on training, eligibility, and how to apply.

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