More People Getting DVDs From Library Than From Netflix Or Redbox

Why rent the cow when you can borrow the milk for free? That seems to be the mindset of many Americans, as a new study claims that more DVDs are borrowed from libraries each day than are rented via Netflix, Redbox or Blockbuster.

According to the survey released by the Online Computer Library Center, public libraries in the U.S. lend an average 2.1 million videos/day, which edges out the 2 million discs shipped by Netflix and almost as much as the combined total of DVD rentals at Redbox (1.4 million) and Blockbuster (1.2 million).

Netflix shrugs off the idea of libraries as competition to their business. “I think of libraries as places for books,” explains a rep for the company. “It’s free, so it’s a whole different model.”

Another recent report says that libraries have doubled the size of their movie collections over the last decade — and library users have taken notice.

Says one librarian:

Friday nights, the hour before we close, it’s like a video store… People are running to get their movies before the weekend.

How many of you are scoring movies from your local library? Just remember to return the DVDs or you might be arrested.

Study: Libraries Top The Competition In Lending Movies [Courant.com]

Comments

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  1. FREAKHEAD says:

    Yes, my wife and the kids take a weekly trek to the library for books but found recently they have added Wii games and a quality DVD collection. We have started using it to a great extent.

    • bhr says:

      I would be pissed to find out my tax money was going toward stocking Wii games.

    • Corinthos says:

      One of mine has had video games I think they pay for themselves with the 3 dollar a day late fee. Twice this summer I’ve been behind someone at my library spending over 20 bucks on an overdue game.

    • ShadowFalls says:

      Wow… Mine pretty much has a collection of random stuff with many that have issues playing… Still loads of VHS too. If I ever feel nostalgic about the 90s, I can just go there.

  2. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    I like the Neflix response…makes me wonder if the conceded Blockbuster Execs have infiltrated their ranks.

    • FrugalFreak says:

      Seems like it. They are counting on old streaming movies to keep them. I quit recently because of lack of Closed Captioned titles and the disregard of anyone that is not the majority. They pay lip service to appear to care, but really don’t in my opinion. They have proven that profit is their only concern. No new releases doesn’t help matters at all either.

  3. c!tizen says:

    What a sad day it is when the library is better known for renting movies then Netflix.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there something else you can rent or borrow at a library. Like a DVD they are filled with stories and/or information… it’s on the tip of my tongue.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      VHS?

    • Rocket says:

      Microfilm?

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Bored retirees?

    • common_sense84 says:

      Won’t happen. Streaming will eventually get better as all movies become available rather than some.

      But the libraries are easily responsible for the death of local movies stores. Any place with a good library system that has all the latest movies as well has a huge selection of older movies(libraries have much much more space than a block buster and can carry everything rather than a select few of older stuff) is not going to have a sustainable rental market.

      Over a single weak a few years back me and a friend copied over 80 DVDs. 5 at a time and no limit. You could check out 5, return them an hour late, and check out another 5.

    • Libby says:

      I’m a librarian and there are lots of things to find at libraries including books for leisure and books like how-tos, health, general studies and languages. Many also have audiobooks and CDs. Since public libraries are based on taxes to the citizenry, we try to fill the needs and requests of our constituency.

  4. savvy9999 says:

    I find that discs from the library (both DVD and CD) are much more scratched and unplayable than ones had from anywhere else (netflix, blockbuster brick n’ mortar, etc). I’d say only one in five is playable on any machine I have.

    Maybe it’s the lack of accountability that makes borrowers think they can mishandle them? Or the fact they were used/abused and donated to begin with?

    I dunno. My mileage on library discs has not gotten very far.

    • RandomHookup says:

      4 out of 5 unplayable? Out of the several hundred I’ve borrowed from my neighborhood library, only a couple have been that scratched or damaged. Libraries don’t have 30 copies of “Twilight” so the copies of popular movies do get a lot more play. I think libraries just suck it up and keep the item on the shelf until it disintegrates.

      • savvy9999 says:

        yes, 4 out of 5. and I must clarify my comment– I usually am only checking out *kid* DVDs.

        Which coming from the library are usually so mangled that they won’t play. Even borrowed one that had actual teeth marks on it/through it, clearly the bite pattern of a two-year-ish old human.

        Don’t know what it is about library discs, that parents let their kids literally gnaw on them for a week, but wouldn’t think of doing this to their own discs, or one they rented from netflix or redbox.

        Again, it must be the ability to hide behind the loaner card; no system to check or hold any single loaner accountable. So long as its back on time, in the box, don’t give a shit about the next person.

        • RandomHookup says:

          I could see that for kids’ movies. I stick to the foreign films and documentaries which don’t get the same traffic. I’ll bet that lots of these borrowers do treat their kids’ movies the same way … which is why they are borrowing from the library.

          It’s the trade-off for free, I suppose.

    • kethryvis says:

      i work in a library system that has a huge selection of DVDs (right in Netflix’s backyard, heh). If a disc is scratched, take it to the desk when you turn it in (instead of dropping it in the slot) and tell them it’s scratched and unplayable. Our system,and I’m sure other ones as well, has this radarific heavy-duty disc polisher that works wonders on the discs. But they don’t know the disc needs attention if no one tells them. So many patrons return discs when they don’t work and they don’t say anything about it so it doesn’t get fixed.

      Or, just take it to the desk and tell them you couldn’t watch it and ask if they can polish it so you can take it home and watch it. I’ve done that before (i’m not a library employee, I’m on contract on a special project, so no special treatment here!) and the staff was more than happy to get the disc polished.

    • WagTheDog says:

      Yeah, that’s my experience too. Plus, every DVD that is not a travelogue or exercise video has a wait list of at least 5. Popular current movies have a wait list of usually about 80. I’m willing to pay Netflix my $8 a month to get the video this year.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      And it’s usually the same handful of people who are scratching up most of the discs. They’re hard to catch for absolute certain, though.

      Which is why my library has this absolutely amazing (and godawful expensive) multi-stage polishing machine that makes discs look new.

      Of course, you can only do that so many times, but still, you’d never guess to look at them that they’d ever been scratched.

    • dru_zod says:

      That’s how it is at my local library. And it’s not just kids DVDs. I have never checked out a DVD from the kids department, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were actually in better shape than the others. I checked out a season set of a TV series last week and every disc in the set looked like it had been dragged across a gravel driveway. All but one of them played back more or less okay (they just skipped in a few places), but one disc had major skipping problems. This was a fairly new set that they just got in a few months ago. DVDs seem to stay in decent, mostly playable shape for about a year and a half at this library. After that, they might as well toss ‘em.

      People seem to have no respect at all for property that is not theirs. It’s like “Oh, it’s just the library’s DVD, I can throw it on the floor, use it as a coaster, whatever. I don’t care”. I do know some people who treat their own DVDs and CDs that way, though, so I don’t expect people like them to take care of the library’s property either.

    • Bix says:

      Same here with library CDs and DVDs being handled much worse than Netflix DVDs. A lot of the time they’re too far gone to play properly, and my local library doesn’t have a resurfacing or polishing machine. Plus, the librarians don’t handle the discs well. That said, lately I’ve been seeing a lot of scratches that looked like the beginning of a perfect circle and probably came from defective equipment.

    • Libby says:

      Our library regularly cleans DVDs, but the popular, new titles are usually checked out repeatedly before they can be cleaned. By adding a note to the DVD or telling someone that a particular DVD is scratched, people at the library can check the condition of the disc or discs.

  5. megan9039 says:

    At my library they charge to rent DVD’s. It’s 2.50 for a tow or 3 day rental. Not bad, but not free either.

  6. jaya9581 says:

    My local library even has video games. Unfortunately, the selections, both of games and DVDs, is horrendous. Redbox doesn’t seem to be much better. I’ll stick to our cable’s On Demand service.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      Is it horrendous, or is it just almost all checked out at any given time?

      At my library, if you want a particular move, you pretty much have to place a hold on it. The chances of it being there when you are there otherwise are pretty slim.

  7. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    yeah, now only if the’d check them out and return them for other….

  8. Promethean Sky says:

    I have 9 library movies out right now. I just HAD to watch Dodgeball again.

  9. NotEd says:

    I’ve been borrowing DVDs from my local library, although not nearly as much as when I joined 8-9 months ago.
    I really was going weekly when I discovered they had Lost season sets, so I started borrowing them disc by disc.
    Only problem is that they are popular enough that I would come in and they wouldn’t have the next disc on the shelves. So I ended up watching them streaming on Netflix instead. No harm, no foul.
    Still go occasionally to see what they have, though.

  10. RandomHookup says:

    My local library is part of a network where you can order the movies online from other libraries in the system to be delivered to your local branch (and you can return them to any branch in the network). You can’t control when they might show up, but it’s a great deal for those really hard to find movies that you might turn to Netflix for otherwise.

    • qwickone says:

      At mine, you have some control over when things come. I can “suspend” my hold for as long as I want (but you still move up in the queue, and it tells you your position) and “reactivate” whenever I want. When I’m number 1 on the waitlist and I’m ready for something, I reactivate. I usually have whatever I want 3-5 days after that and they email me when it comes in. It’s so awesome. I’ve only ever used it for books though.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Is that through inter-library loan? Last time I checked that only worked on resources likes books and such at my library.

      • RandomHookup says:

        It’s a coordinated networks of libraries in the Boston area (the Minuteman Library Network). By sharing resources as if they were a single library, the 43 libraries can save a ton of money and eliminate duplicate offerings. They share a catalog and everyone has borrowing privileges within the network (though some high demand items such as recent DVDs are limited to onsite borrowing).

        You can still get Interlibrary Loan if you need something they don’t have in the network.

      • Yorick says:

        different libraries have different policies. My library is part of a region system, and DVDs are available for interlibrary loan, but not all of the libraries allow their DVDs to be sent thru the ILL. My base library, for example, does not. The next nearest one does, but not all titles. The one with the most depth (and seven locations) is an hour away and they don’t let ANY of their DVDs go to other libraries – nor can you borrow them if you don’t live in their zip code.

  11. Tim says:

    Am I missing something here? 1.4 million (Redbox) + 1.2 million (Blockbuster)

  12. MDSasquatch says:

    My local library has movies and Wii games; I can get them quicker than I can from Netflix and they don’t have the 10 minutes of forced previews at the beginning. I am canceling my Netflix and using the library exclusively as soon as my current month of Netflix is up.

  13. UnicornMaster says:

    I knew a girl who would never buy a video, book or magazine. She said it was a waste and really, how many times are you going to read or watch it?

  14. Dyscord says:

    Our library doesn’t have this. They charge for DVDs and books less than 6 months old.

  15. Jacquilynne says:

    I’ve been getting a lot of DVDs of TV shows from my library. It put the ones I want on hold, they send them to my local branch and I pick them up. It’s not much less convenient than a delivery service like Netflix, and it’s cheaper, too. Plus, my library lets me have basically as many discs out at a time as I’d like. I do have to bring them back on time, however.

    The one real disadvantage, at least with TV shows, is that the library’s hold system doesn’t effectively manage seasons, of a given show so I have to do it myself, but that’s not much of a hassle for the $20 a month I’m not spending.

    • RandomHookup says:

      My library system has had to cut back on the number of videos you can have in your queue, but once they had 13 vidoes show up for me at the same time. They let me break up the order a little, so that I didn’t have to watch all of them in a week…just 10 days or so.

  16. dulcinea47 says:

    The thing with Netflix is, the movies come to my house! Some of them come straight through the computer! I don’t have to go get them, and I don’t have to go take them back! Totally worth the money, to me.

    • Vivienne says:

      Since I live 2 blocks from the library, so I think of the extra motivation to get up off the sofa twice a week, wipe the popcorn crumbs off my shelf and walk to the library as a bonus.

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      Me too

  17. duxup says:

    Here come the movie studios.

  18. lizzybeans11 says:

    I get the point of the article, but how does 1.4 + 1.2=

    Combined total means you combine their totals, right??

  19. Supes says:

    Assuming the DVDs aren’t very popular, I’ve had great luck with this… though with the more popular movies I’ve sometimes found myself 200ish on the waitlist, and since it’s a network wide system that includes time DVDs are transfered, sit on shelves waiting for pickup, and actually checked out….. It can take a year to get to the top of the list.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Like popular books, library systems aren’t great for getting the latest and greatest DVDs. They are great for finding the really obscure movies and getting caught up on the classics (without 16 minutes of commercials every hour).

  20. shotgun_shenanigans says:

    My library charges a dollar for “borrowing” movies. That, and since we use Netflix’s streaming more than the DVD rental service, is why I’ll just stick with Netflix, thank you very much.

  21. El_Fez says:

    Wait? Someone is willing to let you read books and listen to music. . . for FREE? There’s gotta be a catch! What will the RIAA say about this?!?

    • xxmichaelxx says:

      …and the Tea Party! Don’t forget, they let BLACK people rent these moves, too! SOCIALISM!!!!1!

    • ARP says:

      Public Libraries are pure Socialism. They force me to pay taxes for something that benefits all the people in a commmunity, provides equal access, and at no additional cost (other than payment of taxes). It’s nanny state at its worst because the GOVERNMENT decides which books to stock. And since they only have so much budget to buy books, the the books that are not picked don’t get the revenue- it’s a book death panel. People worked hard to create those books and movies and for the government to take taxpayer money to buy and then lease those books and movies, when people should be buying them is redistribution of wealth.

      I think we should start a political movement that uses thinly veiled, violent, hyperbolic rhetoric (but with plausible deniability) to get all public libraries and public parks shut down.

      • FrugalFreak says:

        I Love it, you appear nightly?

      • craptastico says:

        this may be the most idiotic thing i’ve read all day. we should also get rid of schools. how dare they try to educate everybody?

        • ARP says:

          Exactly, I see I have a kindred spirit. My tax money should not be used to educate other children. We should completely abolish our public education system and have each family be responsible for educating its own children on their own or through PRIVATE schools. Let the market sort out which schools are best or how smart your kids are.

          That way I can teach my children that that most politicians that voted for tax bills before 1980 were communists (until 1983, tax rates were typically over 70% for the wealthiest). I can teach my children that until Obama, 100% of the economy was private (Michelle Bachman told me that). I can teach my childre that we are a Christian nation (despite most founding fathers being deists and the Treaty of Tripoli). I can teach my children that actist judges are only liberal (For example, the constitution says that Corporations are “people” and have first amendment rights- Scalia would never create law from the bench).

          Same with firefighters. I’ve never called the fire department, why should I pay taxes for them? We should just do it like the old days and buy memberships to fire departments. If you don’t have the right membership, your house burns down and your kids die. It’s your fault you’re too lazy or stupid to not have enough money to get a good membership.

          Please say you see the snark. I’m trying to be as obvious as I can. Or maybe its just a sign of how nuts people have become.

          • BelleSade says:

            It’s a sad day when I’m so used to insanity I actually thought for a sec your comments were serious.

    • OnePumpChump says:

      Sometimes the relationship between publishers and libraries can be a little adversarial, but libraries are their most reliable customers, so they won’t ever push back too hard. For books with broad appeal (especially reference books that most people won’t buy for themselves) that’s tens of thousands of copies that they are virtually guaranteed to sell…enough to justify publishing. It’s true of movies and music, too.

  22. evnmorlo says:

    Libraries should just operate torrent sites. Discs are pain for everyone.

  23. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    My public library system’s DVD selection is much more family and education oriented, so I haven’t seen new releases (or relatively new releases) at the library. Even if there were some, I think I prefer Netflix because at least there are many, many copies for everyone. I have enough trouble as it is with my library system because I find myself #170 on the queue for a new release because there are only 50 available for a lot of people.

  24. wvvm says:

    I live in NYC, and frequent one of the New York Public Library branch libraries. It isn’t perfect — the branch is small and doesn’t have much of a selection. And while I can easily place a hold on a book or DVD that I’d like online, it can take months to come in (I’ve been on the 30 Rock 1st season waitlist for about 5 months — and even longer for some bestselling books). But as someone who is unemployed, it is awesome as long as I am not picky. I particularly like it for TV shows — we can take out a whole season at once (unlike Netflix, where one DVD of a set counts as a selection), and I can take it out for a while. Late fees for DVDs are going up to $3.00 a day on August 1 though — that will definitely keep me honest.

  25. Blueberry Scone says:

    I have a Netflix account, and my library has DVDs to rent (for free!). I use both, as the library doesn’t have a reliable supply – discs can be lost or damaged, and there’s a chance that the movie you really want to see is already off the shelves. My library has a good selection, but they don’t have everything – that’s where Netflix comes in.

    That being said, my ilbrary lets you check out an entire season of a tv show at once, instead of waiting for each disc to arrive via Netflix (I have one of the smaller plans). I don’t know what the limit is on checking out DVDs, because I’ve walked out with several seasons of various TV shows and some movies in one go.

  26. trey says:

    what is a library?

    • Yorick says:

      a collection of media items, such as books, CDs, DVDs, newspapers, magazines, etc. if you own two books or 2 DVDs or a book and a DVD, you have a library.

  27. JulesNoctambule says:

    Our library has none. They do have a coffee bar, though. I’d be happy to trade.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i still haven’t seen the one with the coffee bar. but coming from my previous library system to here, and finding no movies when i was used to being able to watch lots of classics and A&E documentaries/biographies, i’d expected at least the educational ones.
      what a let down

  28. htowninsomniac says:

    The Houston Public Library is excellent. It takes a few weeks to get a DVD, but it’s not like I absolutely need to see a movie right now…

    • osulb says:

      I’m a HUGE advocate for getting DVDs at the library and I’m really lucky that my local library is so good about it too. I go every Saturday morning and grab 12-13 discs to cover my entertainment needs for the week. I also have a Netflix subscription for the more obscure titles that the library doesn’t carry or for movies I specifically want to watch on Blu-ray. If I absolutely need to watch a new release as soon as it comes out, I’ll go to a Redbox or move it to the top of my Netflix queue.

  29. biblyotheke says:

    Actually – No.

    According to the OCLC report: It’s 2.2M NETFLIX vs 2.M1 Libraries.

    Source: http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/214109usf_how_libraries_stack_up.pdf

    It’s much sexier, however, to say that libraries are beating the hell out of Netflix, when they are beating the hell out of Blockbuster and Redbox.

  30. TPA says:

    Considering library taxes run me approx $280/year, I should use it more. BUT, I prefer Netflix and Amazon-on-Demand. Libraries aren’t convenient to me both in locations and hours. The addition of late fees makes it even less attractive.

    I travel frequently, thus being able to carry a disc with me and drop it in any available mailbox, regardless of which US city I’m in, is a big bonus. Add in instant watch and I’m very happy.

  31. suez says:

    I would check out more from my local libraries, but honestly, one can only tolerate so many episodes of Ms. Marple.

    • suez says:

      Plus, because of budget cut-backs, my local libraries have cut back their hours as well–about the only time I can get into one now is on the weekend because they’re closed by the time I get off work and battle the traffic home. Hardly convenient.

  32. stephent says:

    We get all the latest releases often the week they come out. I will go on Monday nights and put a hold on the new releases I want to see i can usually pick it up by friday that week.

  33. Serenefengshui says:

    I prefer DVDs from the library because they get the regular editions, with special features, rather than the rental versions which are bare bones.

    I do like RedBox for new releases, though, as it can take a very long time to get a new release from the library. Typical # of holds for blockbuster movies? 700 or so.

  34. damageddude says:

    Maybe its because we tend to get kids movies but I’ve discovered that that there is a better than even chance the library’s DVD will be too scratched to play.

  35. JonStewartMill says:

    I can’t speak for other libraries, but ours only stocks movies for a mainstream audience. Foreign or indy films only show up if they’re nominated for an Oscar. As long as that’s the case, I’ll be keeping my Netflix subscription.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Guess it depends on your audience. One of the nearby libraries has Chinese movies with no subtitles. I see tons of foreign films that I pick up at the local branches.

  36. QrazyQat says:

    We can browse for DVDs from home, put them on hold, and have them delivered to our local branch. Nowadays when I see an ad showing that a recent movie is on DVD I just go over to the computer and put it on hold for us. We watch about 20 movies a month when we’re at home.

  37. OnePumpChump says:

    The hell you say.

    We can’t keep them on the shelves. Or in the infuriatingly slow-loading dispenser. At any given time something like 80 percent of the discs are checked out and it’s a struggle finding a lull in use of the dispenser to load the incoming discs.

  38. majortom1981 says:

    I work in a library we also rent out blu-ray movies also and wii,ps3,and xbox 360 games.

    • majortom1981 says:

      Which movies your library gets is governed by them . We area i na rich neighborhood so we get indy films, foreign films, and the latest blockbusters.

      All our movies even ones like avatar we get in a couple of days before the release date.

  39. 108socks says:

    Our library is pretty good. And if you ever have overdue items (as we do with a houseful of kids), you can donate gently used books, videos or DVDs that you don’t want anymore in lieu of paying a fine.

  40. kityglitr says:

    I think this only works if you live in the area of a major city, or a well funded area. I live in Humboldt County, CA and our local library is so underfunded that the only movies available are from the 80’s and 90’s and not a very big selection.

  41. gargunkle says:

    Heck yeah. I started gong to the local library in October 2008. I cancelled Netflix but it also reduced my Amazon spending for books significantly.

  42. Draw2much says:

    Maybe it depends on where you live. Most of the libraries I’ve been to have a very limited selection of DVDs, and I’ve never seen any games or bluray discs. (Though I have noticed the general increase of DVDs in libraries over the last few years.)

    And I dunno, it’s be very difficult for a library to content with the variety of movies and TV series available through Netflix.

    • Draw2much says:

      *content = contend
      lol…
      Also, I go to libraries for books. I have the misfortune in living in places where they never care the full series of books I like. xD

  43. Cicadymn says:

    Summer of Recovery my friends. Summer of Recovery.

  44. gnubian says:

    I went, I looked, I remembered I was in Utah .. OK, can’t really blame Utah for it, but the selection at local branch is really lacking.

  45. iheartdm says:

    This makes me happy. I work at a library and in this economy, we need all the help we can get!

    At my library, we have over 5000 free dvds from various genres and new dvd rentals for $1 for 3 days, and with late fees at only $0.30/day, this is a great deal.

    Support your local library and help me keep my job!

  46. SeattleSeven says:

    The library is a fantastic way to prepare for a long flight or road trip with the kids. I just take my laptop with me and rip a collection of movies I want to watch. Then I can watch them at my leisure and delete them when I am done.

  47. Hyman Rosen says:

    Netflix is right. It is very often a mistake for a business to worry about competition. Businesses should focus on execution, because the better they can deliver a product or service, the better they’ll do. Right now, Netflix delivers movies to my home and over the internet, and there are no due dates. That’s the difference between their model and the library’s, and they execute their model flawlessly. It may be at some point in the future that they will have to change or die, but that doesn’t make them any less successful or profitable right now.

  48. Tevokkia says:

    Even the library at the university I was attending (which was a joint-use facility … anyone who lived in the county could get a library card) had a large collection of movies that was constantly being added to. They had all the newest games for Wii, PS3, and XBox 360, too, and kept several copies of each in. When you can check them out for a week or longer for free (and renew them as long as there were no reservations), why would anyone want to pay money to have them for only a few days?

  49. Mr. Pottersquash says:

    they should charge 10 cents a dvd and balance budget

  50. Carlee says:

    Does anyone else think the library card in the photo looks like a miniature book (if you were looking at it open, the back and front covers)?

    I think our library has some free DVDs (like older releases) and then some newer releases for like $1 or $2. I forget how much it is. I’ve checked out free DVDs but never the newer ones.

    It’s true that the DVDs tend to be scratched up – this is one thing that was better about VHS tapes. Even if there was a malfunction, you could usually just fast-forward past it and continue watching. With DVDs, well, you’re out of luck if it just keeps skipping and won’t move forward.

  51. Mom2Talavera says:

    That’s true mine even has wii games for rent

  52. KenyaDigIt says:

    Surprisingly, the library’s limited selection contains more movies I want to see than Netflix or Redbox. You actually get a nice mix of recent blockbusters and old classics, without all the filler

  53. jiubreyn says:

    I didn’t know that you could rent DVD’s from the library, much less the type of DVD’s available on Netflix!

    The rep that made the comment that they feel libraries are for books and not DVD’s may be one to eat their words in the near future. Much like Microsoft when they said the iPhone was just a phone. Never say never especially when the numbers don’t lie.

  54. jo3lr0ck5 says:

    The libraries are trying really hard to get people in there, they have to justify the money that is being spent in them somehow. I can tell you from experience that my library stocks some good movies, can’t wait for them to start renting movies on Blu-ray…and then streaming movies to the net but I don’t know how they would make money from this.

  55. Gringa In Mexico says:

    Most large city libraries offer electronic books and journals via the internet (PDF files and audio books). I check out audio books from San Antonio Public Library and Houston Public Library. My principal residence is in San Antonio, but Houston Public offers cards to anyone with an in-state drivers license. Many libraries do so for people who live in-state (depends on the state, I think . . . Colorado and California are leaders in this). So, although small libraries may not be able to afford electronic collections, it may be possible for people in small towns or rural areas to access large city library electronic collections. I spend a lot of time in Mexico these days, and it’s wonderful to listen to books from there.

  56. lmbrownmail says:

    My library has a great selection of movies that you can check out – their selection is better than Redbox. The catch? You can’t reserve one. You have to just be there when one that is popular is returned. So I’ve been trying to get the Twilight movies and Sherlock Holmes for my grandkids to watch. I think it’s time to bite the bullet and just rent them.

  57. Mr.Gawn says:

    Ultimately.. Netflix is a better deal, at least from the libraries that are local

    it cost to rent DVDs (not blu-rays), and there is no streaming service.

    oh and LATE charges!!!

  58. Weekilter says:

    You think queues are “very long wait” at Netflix try getting a popular movie from the library. Most libraries you can take video items out for two weeks or longer. For TV series that might be a problem but for regular films it works (that is unless you’re waiting for the 1st season of Glee) you might be waiting for more than a year.

  59. Guest 101 says:

    I haven’t rented a movie from Netflix or Blockbuster in years. I haven’t even heard of Redbox. There’s no point when you have a system like ours in the San Francisco Bay Area, 30+ libraries sharing thousands of DVDs between branches. They are starting to hit the BluRay market too, which is great! The library is always looking out of the consumer.

  60. kataisa says:

    /// Friday nights, the hour before we close, it’s like a video store… People are running to get their movies before the weekend. ///

    This is true at my library. I’ve only recently started going to the library to rent DVDs and was stunned by how large their collection was. They had the latest movie releases, plus foreign movies, old classic movies, documentaries, TV shows, cartoons, music DVDs, health/exercise DVDs, and so forth. They have many movies on Blu-Ray, too.

    So I’ve been renting DVDs from the library for the past three months now and love it. I see no reason to pay money (and exorbitant late fees) to rent movies from Netflix or Redbox.

  61. Narmical says:

    The new york city public library is rather awesome. They have a video queue and everything. Only problem is, you have to wait forever!