What is the Pioneer Library System Talent Showcase?
The Pioneer Library System (PLS) Talent Showcase is designed to introduce performers, presenters, and educators to the library staff who book outside performers for library events held throughout the year. The annual Showcase provides an audition-like opportunity for performers who are developing library programs and who are able to present public library programs within a non-profit’s modest budget.
Who might consider presenting at the Showcase?
Artists, performers, educators, and animal trainers . . . anyone with a passion for sharing their craft or interests and doing so in a manner that is relevant, meaningful, and memorable.
Library programs support the mission of the Pioneer Library System to connect customers “…to the joy of reading and to information for lifelong learning.” Library programs can also be presented as a strategy for reaching new or under-served library users or for addressing the interests and needs of populations served by the library. Every library program will provide: a direct connection to the libraries’ collection, support for reading, reading readiness, literacy, or lifelong learning, and free access to program components and materials for all members of the intended audience.
When and Where will the 2015 Talent Showcases take place?
Teens & Adults: Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Noble Public Library, 204 N. Fifth Street, Noble, OK.
Children’s: Thursday, October 8, 2015, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Noble Public Library, 204 N. Fifth Street, Noble, OK.
How do I apply to be in the 2015 Showcase?
Complete the form, which is posted at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SZMLLTP
Who will be selected to appear in the 2015 Showcase?
To be considered, presenters must submit an application by the deadline date of September 5, 2015. While the Showcase is interested in presenters starting their careers, this is not an amateur show. All applicants are expected to have some previous experience with audiences in schools, libraries, or other similar locations.
If more people apply to appear in the Showcase than there is room for, how are decisions made?
Send your completed application form to arrive by September 5, 2015; all qualified applicants whose forms are received by that date will be considered. Priorities will be set in this order:
Performers who are willing to tour all of the 11 PLS hometown libraries
Performers who have never appeared at a PLS Talent Showcase
Returning performers who have not appeared in a PLS Talent Showcase within the last 2 years
In case of a noticeable imbalance in types of performances (e.g. 24 storytellers), effort may also be made to present a more varied roster of types of programs.
Concerning price, what does “within a non-profit’s budget” mean? Can’t I charge whatever I want to charge?
Public libraries often have little or no standard budget for presenters; money for such events is pulled together from a variety of sources, including Friends of the Library groups and occasionally, grants. Public libraries offer their programs for free and with the fervent hope that such events will provide a springboard to draw their audience into the greater resources of the library. The PLS Showcase strives to spotlight performers who are able to present programs to library audiences at a modest rate.
What is the Showcase timeline? When will I know if I am accepted?
We will email monthly acknowledgements to those whose 2015 applications have been received. By September 11, 2015, selection will be finalized and all applicants will be notified about whether or not they have been chosen. If there is no room for you in this year’s Showcase, you may send brochures for distribution at the Showcase and inclusion in the audience catalog. Brochures for this purpose should be sent to Galyn Hembree, Programming Specialist, Pioneer Library System, 300 Norman Center Court, Norman, OK 73072.
Please send no more than 50 pieces of any item.
I am not eligible to be in the Showcase this year because I appeared too recently, missed the deadline, or wasn’t selected. Can I still attend the Showcase event and network with the audience and other performers?
No. Limitations on time and space prohibit this. However, performers who are not in this year’s Showcase may send their brochures to be available at the event and to be included in the audience catalog.
What is the Showcase schedule? What do I actually do on Showcase day?
Each presenter is allotted 15 minutes only. The 15-minute limit is strictly and fairly enforced according to the best efforts of the emcee. It is the presenter’s duty to time themselves. However, we may use an audible timer to indicate when the 15 minutes is up.
You may choose to simply perform a 15-minute segment of your routine, or you may also provide some kind of introduction that describes it, the audience you are aiming for, and variations of presentation. (Do you give workshops as well as performances? Do you allow opportunities for volunteers to join you? Do you encourage audience interaction? Do you have different approaches for different ages?) What can you do that most effectively represents your show? Generally, libraries have no stage, so prepare accordingly.
Who will be in the audience?
While most of the audience will be librarians from public libraries throughout the PLS three counties, you may also see people from schools and recreation departments who need performers for their children’s programs. While those attending will be looking particularly for summer programming, many libraries schedule special events all year round, and a successful appearance at the Talent Showcase may result in contacts over the next few years.
What about equipment I need?
For the 2015 Showcase, we will have the following equipment available for all performers to use:
A sound system
Clip-on microphone and one wireless hand-held microphone (which can be used with a stand as well). Because of time limitations, you should not bring your own sound system to set up. You are free to perform without a sound system.
One basic CD player that plugs into a speaker
An internet connected computer (PC) with projector/screen set up.
A couple of chairs, a table, and a stool.
My show is very interactive. Can I count on any audience participation at the Showcase?
The Showcase audience that day should provide willing audience volunteers. Audience members will be interested in whatever you can do to bring your program to life and help them envision it in their library. Library audiences are usually well-behaved and enthusiastic; one of the challenges in working with a library audience is that the crowd is often mixed in age, with parents, grandparents, and other caretakers attending along with kids from 3 to 14, or older. Performers who have worked with a specific age group, e.g. middle school, teens, or the very young are urged to share that experience, whether in person or in their promotional pieces.
Must I present something specifically related to the summer reading theme?
No, but you are encouraged to help the audience envision how your program content can be related to the theme, if possible.
The 2017 Summer Reading Program theme is “Build a Better World.”
The theme for SRP 2016 is “Wellness/Fitness/Sports”.
Children’s---“On Your Mark, Get Set, READ”; Teens’---“Get in the Game: READ”; and Adults’---“Exercise Your Mind: READ".
When might I expect to hear about bookings?
The immediate focus of the 2015 Talent Showcase is on the selection of touring performers for summer 2017. If you are chosen as a 2017 system touring presenter, expect to be contacted by December 2015.
However, you may be contacted very soon following the Showcase by someone from an individual library or organization who is interested in performers to supplement the coming summer’s slate (2016) or events throughout the year.