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Video series aims to expand awareness of Red Deer library’s role

The film project received a $10,000 grant from Telus Storyhive
Briana Ehnes, events and innovation manager at the Red Deer Public Library, will be leading a new video series that will expand the public’s awareness of what the RDPL does in the community. The film project received a $10,000 grant from Telus and will air on the Telus Optik Channel next summer. (File photo by Advocate staff)

The Red Deer Public Library has received $10,000 from Telus Storyhive to create a video series about its expanding role in the community.

“When I heard about the Storyhive Voices grant, I was immediately intrigued,” says Briana Ehnes, the RDPL’s events and innovation manager. “I knew this would give us the perfect platform to defy preconceived notions of what a public library is and can be.

With a goal of helping new and emerging content creators, Telus has awarded $10,000 grants to 100 applicants in Alberta and B.C. The idea is to encourage people with little or no formal experience or training to create videos about their communities.

Ehnes will be leading the project with help from RDPL’s brand manager, Candice Putnam. Their video series will be titled Be a Part of the Story — which is also the library’s official tagline. It will be presented in six parts on Telus Optik TV and on Storyhive’s YouTube channel in summer 2024.

She explained the concept behind the video series is to bust preconceptions about what a book-lending institution is, and instead expand knowledge of new ways in which the public library is helping build a strong community.

“We see all walks of life at the public library – from young children to seniors, people experiencing homelessness and addictions, newcomers, and more,” said Ehnes.

She plans to highlight these stories from community members, as well as some of the local organizations the library collaborate with to support the needs of Red Deerians. “We’ll share our triumphs and how public libraries are rising to the occasion. We’ll also discuss some of the challenges our community faces and how we might work together to create change,” she added.

Part of the goal is to build empathy toward people who are facing challenges – whether through discrimination, or access to safe housing or treatment. Ehnes noted that supporting all members of the community is one of the core values held by RDPL.

A 60-second video clip that was created as a “pitch” to the grant committee can be viewed on the library’s YouTube channel.

As a recipient of the grant, Ehnes and her team will also be attending a series of virtual workshops that provide the foundational tools, resources, and guidance to bring the project to life, including sessions on how to conduct interviews, craft a narrative, film and edit the videos.

The team is excited to get to work, and hopes to involve other library staff and community members in the project.

Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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