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Interagency Virtual Watch Parties

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Interagency Virtual Watch Parties

DC Public Library, D.C.

Advocacy & Awareness | 2020

Innovation Synopsis

In collaboration with DC's Mayor's Office of Community Affairs, DC Public Library is hosting virtual watch parties of films from our online Kanopy film collection. Members of the public watch one film at the same time and participate in a common Twitter chat led by DCPL and Mayor's Office staff. Since May, we have hosted five watch events.


Finding meaningful virtual ways to connect with the community has been a challenge for the library. Our partner agencies in DC government have faced this to an equal and sometimes greater degree with no access to their usual outreach spaces. These watch parties use library resources and social media to create a quality, virtual alternative to the programs that both collaborators were hosting before the health crisis all while strengthening the interagency connection and demonstrating coordination to the community.

Key Elements of Innovation

Interagency collaboration expanded the reach of both organizations to connect with each others’ constituents. Through that, the programs connected more people with library cards and virtual services that are particularly relevant in this moment. At the same time, we created meaningful experiences of film screenings enriched by commentary and discussion from community members and community leaders. Adding a communal component aligned with celebrations like API Heritage Month and Pride added further purpose to the idea.

Achieved Outcomes

In addition to more use of our film collection, outcomes include learning and connection through dialogue with community members and city leaders. Our watch party of The Farewell offered residents the opportunity to view a rich film and have a deeper understanding of the Asian-American family experience and perspective on the film by fellow community members. We have repeated this with films about LGBTQ+ and Latinx history for Pride and Hispanic Heritage Month, and have had 1,523 Twitter engagements across all programs.