Movies@TheLibrary Tool Kit

In spring 2021, Viking Library System purchased a public performance site license through Swank Movie Licensing USA for all member libraries, using regional Legacy funds. To meet state Legacy requirements, VLS will submit a region-wide report on all library movie screenings – indoors or outdoors – that fall under the license.


Member library staff assistance is needed.

Thanks for your efforts!

A Couple o’ Notes

  • The internal project name for state reporting is “Movies@TheLibrary.” You are free to call your event or series whatever you choose!

  • Be sure to use the Legacy credit lines in your publicity:

This project was funded in part or in whole with monies from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.  This program is sponsored by YOUR LIBRARY NAME HERE and Viking Library System.

The Details

  • The Swank Movie Licensing USA (Swank MLUSA) public performance site license is in effect through 30 June 2022.​

       This license permits member libraries “to exhibit Motion Pictures legally within your library facility.”

  • There is usually an additional fee for outdoor screenings on library property, although that restriction has been lifted through 30 June 2022. You must submit a request form to show movies outdoors. See the “Outdoor Movies Checklist” below for more information.

  • Some newer titles (“single event” films) require an additional fee. During the term of this license, regional Legacy funds may be used to cover the cost. Please check with Gail N. before contacting Swank.

  • Search available titles at

  • The Viking Library System Public Performance Site License (or “copyright compliance site license”) number is 201826001.

  • As of March 2021, studios covered under the Swank MLUSA license include: Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists, Miramax Films, Warner Bros., NBC Universal, DreamWorks Animation, Global Road Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Focus Features, Warner Independent Pictures, Fine Line Features, Paramount Vantage, and Screen Gems licensed for 'Home Use Only'.

  • Be aware that Swank MLUSA imposes some advertising restrictions.

From the website:

You are permitted to use the studio approved images provided by Swank. Please note that these images may not be edited or altered and must include the © symbol and the studio name.

Advertising movie showings via on-premises signage, websites, email, social media accounts or direct mail is acceptable. Any promotion that is done by means of a marquee, lighted sign or billboard that will be seen by the public may not include the name of the movie.

These movies are specifically licensed for non-theatrical showings only. Advertising through media such as radio, television or newspaper is not permitted. If this policy is violated or your screening becomes openly competitive with a commercial theater, your movie(s) may be canceled without notice.

Outdoor Movies Checklist

  • Submit an event request form* to Swank MLUSA to secure permission to show the film. Per Swank, “Titles covered by the annual license are eligible for outdoor showings in most instances”(emphasis by Gail N.).

  • Reserve equipment with Gail N. Viking Library System has the following equipment available for loan to member libraries:

    • 20-foot inflatable screen

    • Data projector

    • DVD player

    • FM transmitter (Audio is transmitted directly to car radios. Yes, it’s magic.)

  • Libraries must provide the movie (DVD format) and laptop computer.

  • Note that for outdoor movies (i.e., not drive-in events), libraries will need a sound system to project audio.

* For the Swank request form, you will need to provide:

  • Library Information

    • License Number: 201826001

  • Event Information

    • Date of Showing

    • Plan for limiting attendance [maximum 200 people]

    • Screen Size: 20-foot inflatable screen (if using VLS equipment)

    • Chosen title(s)

Swank Terms & Conditions for Outdoor Events for Public Libraries (as of November 2021):

  • Showing must take place on library property and must be limited to a maximum of 200 people.

  • Event must be for library patrons and employees only.

  • Drive-up type showings are not to be offered if a commercial drive-in theatre is within 10 miles of the library.

  • Advertising Guidelines: Event must be advertised directly to library patrons via mail, email, or other direct messaging.

  • The words "drive-in" should not be used. Alternative phrases could be "Wheels and Reels" or "Carpool Cinema.”

  • If the date of the showing is delayed due to inclement weather or technical difficulties, please respond to the email approving of the original requested date with the new date of the showing.

  • It is understood that in rare instances it may be necessary for the Studio, in its sole discretion, to withdraw a movie from exhibition.

  • Single event films require additional licensing [with an additional fee].

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Safety Requirements: The library assumes 100% responsibility for ensuring lawful compliance to any legal Orders, Government mandates, or other restrictions that would relate to Outdoor Event Gatherings such as the one being contemplated via this form.