Note: this article first appeared in the April 27th issue of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune.

On Saturday, the Oroville Public Library celebrated Earth Day with the first film screening on its new projection system, featuring the nature documentary “Love Thy Nature.”

Patrons walking in Saturday afternoon were met with a different sort of library than they’ve come to expect. The newly renovated side room, which normally contains the teen reading area and work tables surrounded by computer stations and media shelving, had been transformed into the library’s very own movie theater.

A giant projection screen, measuring roughly 10 feet diagonally, had descended from the ceiling against one wall, and was illuminated by a ceiling-mounted projector. The vibrantly lit screen faced a theater-style arrangement of seating options, from cushioned armchairs and padded seats to a lounging rug complete with oversized ladybug pillow.

Saturday’s film selection, “Love Thy Nature,” was a 2014 nature documentary, directed by Sylvie Rokab. The movie featured stunning cinematography of animals and natural landmarks from around the world, in vivid detail and slow motion. With experts in fields such as biomimetic engineering, cosmology, and the social sciences, “Love Thy Nature” discussed the ways in which modern societies suffer the consequences of extreme disconnection from nature, as well as the value of reconnecting to the natural world. Running through the film was a stylized narration by Liam Neeson, credited as ‘Sapiens,’ who spoke as the personified spirit of our Homo sapiens species throughout its millennia of evolution.

The state-of-the-art projection system which patrons enjoyed Saturday had been installed as part of the library’s recent renovations. “It came about when the North Central Regional Library directors came up for our grand re-opening,” says librarian Barbara Pollard. “When they saw the flex space and what great potential it had, I mentioned that it was on our wish list to one day get a projector system. They thought it would be a great addition to the library, so NCRL arranged everything and had it installed.”

Though the Earth Day screening was the first movie that the library featured in its flex space, it’s only one in a series of events planned for the space. “This was our second event to really take advantage of the flex space,” Pollard says, “with the first being the Book-It Theater performance we had here a few weeks ago. We received great feedback after the movie, and are excited to put on more film events in the future. We also have plans to use the flex space and projection system for author talks, historical presentations, kids’ programs, and more.”

To stay apprised of upcoming library events – both movie screenings and otherwise – tune in to the library’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OrovillePublicLibrary, or keep an eye on the Gazette-Tribune’s Community Calendar section.