Toledo Library Hosts Wild Western Film Series

Saddle up! The Toledo Public Library presents its free “Wild Westerns” film series this summer. Beginning July 5, the four-film series will feature classic titles highlighting several western subgenres and themes, from literary adaptations to singing cowboys.

Each screening will tackle a different theme. July’s dates will celebrate the works of Louis L’Amour and the history of Oregon. August’s showings will include an oddball “non-western western” and a public domain film.

Rather than a theater-style program, each Wild Westerns screening will be an active, participatory event. In keeping with this atmosphere, audience members are encouraged to engage in games and drawings. Door prizes will include cowboy hats, free popcorn, novelty gifts and (of course) books.

“We want each showing to feel a little like a movie night on the couch with friends, but with popcorn and a bigger screen,” said library director Deborah Trusty.

Library staff decided to showcase westerns after observing the continuing popularity of western novels and movies at the library. Authors such as Louis L’Amour, Max Brand and Zane Grey enjoy heavy circulation, even decades after their deaths.

“Many of our patrons are big fans of western writers, so ‘Wild Westerns’ seemed like a natural theme for our summer films,” said library tech Harrison Baker. “Stories are timeless, but films always reflect the time and place in which they were made, for better or worse. You might cheer or laugh or maybe cringe at certain parts, but doing that together is part of the fun.”

With the relaxed atmosphere of the program, library staff hope to add to the movie-going experience while also fostering a sense of irreverent appreciation for the films as complex cultural artifacts.

“No matter who you are or where you come from, you probably have a favorite western movie from your childhood,” said Trusty.  “It’s a lens on life that we can all share, and that’s a really valuable thing.”

Wild Western film screenings will take place at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday in July and August in the Community Room of the Toledo Public Library. For a complete schedule of showings, please visit the Library’s website at http://www.cityoftoledo.org/library/ or call the Library at 541-336-3132.

Information provided by Toledo Library