About TEDx & Libraries

What is a TEDx Event?

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation whose mission is "ideas worth spreading.” TEDx is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. A perfect fit for libraries.

At TEDx events, a screening of TEDTalks videos -- or a combination of live presenters and TEDTalks videos -- sparks deep conversation and connections. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

The content and design of each TEDx event is unique and developed independently, but all TEDx events have several features in common.

  • TED's celebrated format: A suite of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances (live, or just TEDTalks videos from TED.com) on a wide range of subjects to foster learning, inspiration and wonder -- and to provoke conversations that matter
  • TEDTalks videos: A minimum of two pre-recorded talks from the acclaimed TEDTalks video series (these talks are available free on TED.com)
  • Bias-free programming: Lack of any commercial, religious or political agenda

Why should librarians hold a TEDx event?  What are the benefits?

The real value of a TEDx event lies in the collaborative engagement of community members focused on “ideas worth spreading.” The dialogues around this concept are rich and bring out issues that are important to the specific gathered audiences. A TEDx event can serve as a catalyst to broaden the definition of LIBRARY and create new ways to bring people and resources together. Planning and implementing a TEDx provides a process that can support the move from “collection development to connection development.” Although a TEDx is one of many ways to do this, it can serve as an important step in creating a more active learning library environment and a library with many more opportunities for your community to be involved. By organizing a TEDx event, you will have the opportunity to create a truly unique event that will unleash new ideas, inspire and inform.

(Include two or three short quotes from libraries that held TEDx events.)

How do librarians hold TEDx events?

The first step is to get a license, which is a requirement before you start planning the event. By securing a free TEDx license, you’ll get access to our 25 years of experience hosting conferences and sharing ideas. Using a mix of the 1400+ available TED Talks videos and your own live speakers and performers, your event can introduce your friends, school, community or workplace to a world of new ideas -- and foster rich and inspiring connections and conversations.

Any library in the world is eligible for a license to organize a TEDx event. However, TED has a few exceptions, including that events may not be used to promote spiritual or religious beliefs, commercial products or political agendas and the organizers may not affiliate the TEDx brand with other conferences, or with commercial endeavors (read more).

The second step is to read the rules and understand what you're committing toOrganizing a successful event is going to take hard work -- and passion. Designing a program, inviting guests, choosing a venue, communicating expectations, etc. are important aspects to the success of your library TEDx event.

Libraries can apply for a Library Event license that allows you to host one TEDx event not exceeding a single day in length. A Standard Event may be large or small, but its features must fall within the TEDx rules. Organizers of Library-type events follow the naming convention TEDx (LocationName) Library.  (read more)

The final step is to submit the online application form.