The Midwest Federation Library of VHS and DVDs and slides are suitable for use at Club meetings, Shows and for Study Groups, classroom or community groups. Any member may borrow these programs for a modest fee. An Index, Descriptions, Order Form, and Suggestions for “Last Minute” Programs is elsewhere on website and in the MWF Directory.  (one or more of your Club Officers should have a Directory)  

When ordering material please include, the name, the type (DVD, VHS or Slides) and the appropriate number when ordering.  Items are arrranged numerically.  Include the name of the ordering club, contact person, address, telephone number and the date the item is to be shown.  Just a reminder...Please return items back shortly after being shown.  In the past there has been items out for months with additional requests for different material. 

* A.F.M.S. Winning Programs;   +  "HowTo" Programs  

Order form for Programs   

Descriptions of programs are included in the MWF Directory.  

Archaeology     Field Trips     Geology

Jewelry     For Juniors/Novices     Lapidary/Faceting

  Minerals/Mineralogy     Miscellaneous

Museums     Mining/Mineral Products     Paleontology

Rocks & Gems    Silver Work

Programs That Don't Really Fit Any Other List


 Program Competitions reward authors of well-developed presentations related to the Earth Sciences and the associated Arts.  Both Midwest and American Federations sponsor a Competition.  Any Society or member, affiliated with Midwest Federation may submit a presentation.  PowerPoint is the preferred format, however other formats are accepted.  Contact Competition Chair for details.  Presentations available for resale are eligible for AFMS Excellence in Education Award.  Authors of winning amateur programs receive recognition and cash awards.  Their presentations are made available to Clubs across the country via the Regional Program Libraries.  Past winners form the core of each Regional Library.  Clubs that use the Regional Library look forward to each new Winner - which can expect years of use, as past Winners have proven.  Technology is changing but excellent programs will be in demand for the foreseeable future and transfer to new mediums is an option.

You may have attended – and enjoyed 60 – even 90 minute presentations given by enthusiastic speakers.  However, you must realize, the same information read by a narrator, would have the majority of the audience restless or asleep within a few minutes, because a narrator can rarely project the same enthusiasm as a “live” presentation. However, a careful rewrite of a “first person” script can make a very effective presentation that will be well received.  Consider 40 minutes for maximum length. Reports indicate many Clubs would appreciate programs that are only 30 – 35 minutes long.  

THE FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS WILL HELP MAKE YOUR PROGRAM EVEN BETTER   Just as it takes time to develop and display an effective exhibit, it takes time to develop a good program.  The effort is worthwhile because “great” programs have a long life in the Federation Libraries!  Well-prepared presentations with “timeless” topics will be appreciated for many years.  As technology changes, such programs can be transferred to new formats.   First, be aware, even professional writers employ editors to comment upon or help revise their material.  Sometimes it takes someone else to “see” something you haven’t noticed.  Be open-minded and willing to consider comments made by “judges” or “editors”.   

The AFMS Scoresheet can be used as a guide to improve your presentation.  If possible, ask a novice rockhound or a friend who is not involved in the production to read the script and show the presentation – as if to a group.  You can be the “judge”. 

LISTEN WITHOUT COMMENT, but jot notes, using the judging form to evaluate your program.  Listen for words or phrases that are difficult to read, abrupt transitions, etc.  Look at the images critically.  Are they clear and easy to understand?   When all is said and done, it’s better to have viewers wanting to know and see more, than to having them fall asleep from “overload”.  Include all the important aspects but don’t dwell on too many details – especially if items / specimens are similar.   Narration should be simple and direct rather than flowery. When recording audio, use a mike on a headset.  If you want help from someone who has made audio files, ask Competition Chair for contact info.     It’s important to vary the length of sentences and the amount of information given for a series of slides to avoid monotony.  If at all possible, avoid repetition of phrases – “Here we have ... “, “In this slide ...” and especially, “This is...” should be avoided at all costs!   Audiences appreciate inclusion of a known object with the specimens so they can see their relative the size.  (Include a coin, an inch or 6-inch scale, etc.)  A typed label is helpful, if it’s easy to read or add text to “slide”.   Avoid having too much narration for any of the first few slides.  If there is more than ½ a page of narration for one of these slides in particular, find a way to divide it up. Moving some of the info to a later slide or making another slide or two to “carry “ part of the info is effective.   Clubs across the country are waiting to see your program, So take the plunge - enter Competition!

For more information contact:

PROGRAM COMPETITION COORDINATOR:  Cindy Root, 1051 Meadow Lane, Jenison, MI  49428; (616) 498-4698;

AFMS PROGRAM COMPETITION CHAIRMAN:  Marge Collins 3017 Niles-Buchanan Rd. Buchanan Ml  49107, ( Questions? phone: (269) 695-4314 or email.  You can request RULES, TIPS & SCORE SHEET or early evaluation