Community Forum

How to Host Your Own “Political Party” (and Inspire Civic Engagement)

We the Voters image

As we try to navigate the constant flow of political news and information (and misinformation) that seems to be taking over all of our screens and our lives these days, it can often feel overwhelming and isolating. How did our country become so politically polarized? How can we better understand our democratic process? How can we talk about these issues with each other in a productive, nonpartisan way? And how can libraries help us stay civically engaged and informed? One way is to take advantage of some free online media resources that are now available to educators and librarians across the country.

We the Voters: 20 Films for the People  is a new anthology of short films that focus on nonpartisan issues related to voting, democracy, elections, and U.S. governance. It’s a fun mix of documentary, narrative, and animated films that run about five minutes each and are perfect for sparking discussion and engaging audiences. With these films, it’s easy to host free community screening events (a.k.a “Political Parties”!) where people of all ages can watch, learn, and discuss timely issues and ideas. Show a few of the films. Invite speakers. Encourage Q&A. Present panel discussions. Offer media-making activities. Serve snacks. Whatever best suits your venue and your community.

These are just some of the timely issues the We the Voters films address:

Event held at the San Francisco Public Library
Event held at the San Francisco Public Library

On National Voter Registration Day back in September, we hosted a We the Voters “Political Party” at The Mix @ The San Francisco Public Library as an intergenerational screening and workshop in their youth media lab, and the experience was truly inspiring. Youth and adults alike loved the media content, the diversity of voices represented, and the chance to learn more about how our democracy really works in a fun, safe space.

If you’d like to host a “Political Party” at your library, we can help! In addition to the films, there is also a free discussion guide with information on how to host a screening and resources for keeping audience members engaged afterwards. Just fill out this form or contact, and we can get you started!


Our guest blogger today is Joanne Parsont. Joanne is a partner at Big Picture Educational Consulting, a leader in the field of film education and media literacy, using film as a powerful educational tool to enlighten audiences, spark engagement, inspire social change, and cultivate new generations of filmgoers and filmmakers.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at


One comment

  1. Kathy K

    This is a commercial advertisement.

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