The Drake Public Library has a DVD collection that is heavily used by the patrons. Some people question this and think it is unnecessary. We circulate DVDs for a number of reasons, entertainment, familiarity, and necessity.
I recently attended a community function and was in an audience of approximately 125 people. The emcee brought up the Drake Library, commented on how long it had been open and then jokingly mentioned that the library has an extensive collection of DVDs. Several people laughed. What is so funny about that?
Libraries serve the public, much of what we do is based on the public’s needs, perceived and real. We feature board books for tiny toddlers, we also have a large print collection for failing and elderly eyes. We want to provide useful materials for everyone!
Movies are fun, they are an escape from reality. Special effects, compelling story lines, and talented actors draw viewers in and keep them captivated, for 90 minutes or so. Movies are big business and are as popular as ever. Movies made from successful books are really successful. Teachers often assign students to watch a movie after the class has read the book. Book clubs like to watch movies based on books.
If a patron comes to the library just to get DVDs that is fine! We don’t care! A librarian hopes that someday a DVD patron will feel comfortable enough to branch out into books, magazines, or audiobooks, but if not, no big deal!
We want the public to feel comfortable here, if children use the library with their parents, then they may use the library as adults. We really like to build a relationship with our patrons. There is a group of regular patrons that visit often, daily or every other day. My former boss often joked that librarians are bartenders without liquor. We know our patrons, we get involved in their lives.
Why do people still check out DVDs from the library in the age of ROKU, Redbox, Netflix, and Hulu? I think it all boils down to cost. Being on the cutting edge of technology is expensive. Not everyone can afford cable television. Lots of patrons that use our DVD service don’t have cable. Cable is a luxury.
Going to the movie theatre with a family of four can easily cost $60.00 on a Friday night. Library DVDs are free, available for two weeks at a time and can be renewed. Why spend money on purchasing a DVD when you will more than likely watch it one time and then it will clutter up your front room?
Come to the library, check out a DVD, or check out a book, we don’t care! We are just happy to see you!