Does anyone else use the public library?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by MartinTeller, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    Here in Portland, we've got a very good system.

    * 3 week borrowing (or indefinitely, if no one else is on the waiting list)
    * can borrow as many as you want (at least, I've had as many as 25 things out at one time without any problem)
    * pretty good web interface for browsing the catalog and placing holds
    * everything gets delivered to your local branch, and you get email notification when it arrives
    * 100% free

    My girlfriend and I have borrowed at least 250 DVDs in the past year or so. Criterions, box sets, you name it. Right now we've got The Pianist, Led Zeppelin, Quiz Show, Hearts and Minds, A River Runs Through It, Farewell My Concubine, Fox and his Friends, and Snatch.

    It's great for 1) movies you like and want to see one more time, but don't want to purchase for your collection and 2) "risky" titles that you're curious about. I've borrowed many that I almost made a blind purchase on, and once I saw them I was glad I didn't. Conversely, there's about 15-20 that I borrowed and now own or intend to buy.

    Of course, it's not perfect...

    * they don't have everything (although they get new stuff all the time)
    * some titles have an awfully long waiting list, we've waited up to 3 months for some
    * sometimes no choice between widescreen and fullscreen (they only seemed to get the fullscreen version of Spiderman, for example)
    * occasionally a disc is scratched or smudged


    Anyone have good (or bad) luck with the library? I've really been pleased with how it's helped to curb my spending.
     
  2. Todd Robertson

    Todd Robertson Second Unit

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    thats just it....it would curb my spending...the last thing I want[​IMG]!! hey, libraries are great. me being a collector though....they do me no good. I wish to own and dont even rent at the local video stores and have not rented since about 1995. books I wish to own as well. my wife and I do donate money to the local neighborhood library once a year and donate books on occasion.
     
  3. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    The library (Columbus Metropolitan Library and its many branches) is my bitch when I'm home for the summer. [​IMG] I can borrow 5 DVDs at a time, 5 days each, 10 days total if I'm able to renew it (I can't renew it if someone reserved it), and if something I want is checked out, I can reserve it online! They're pretty good about getting new DVDs, they get them a month or two after release date. They're pretty good about OAR, but Jurassic Park 3 and Spider-Man, among others, are exceptions. 19 fullscreen copies, 2 widescreen for JP3, 66 FS, ONE WS for Spider-Man! At least they have a WS copy, but ugh. There's another library system close by, they get new DVDs within a month of release date, but I can't lend them out as long and you can't reserve them, you have to call them to hold it for you if it's at the library.
     
  4. Aaron Cooke

    Aaron Cooke Second Unit

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    I also use the columbus library as the whitehall branch is right across the street from my work. It's decent but sometimes the wait lists seem long and i'd prefer a 7 day loan period to the 5 day, but my only real complaint is that i don't think i've ever seen a widescreen copy of a movie where wide/full were released separately. On the plus side, i was elated to find out they've got multiple copies of Lost in La Mancha so that'll save me a trip to the indie rental store since i just checked Hollywood video the other day and they didn't carry it.
     
  5. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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  6. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Cincinnati Library is a little more stringent with their DVDs. Six at a time. Most are two day checkouts. $2 a day fines. No reservations on feature films. However, they have a decent collection and get pretty much all of the Criterions. They also have begun to only buy widescreen editions. I go there all the time. I'm poor.
     
  7. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    My library is pretty much all OAR with a few very Rare exceptions. Alhough, I am a bit nervous as I was sent a link to their website and saw the format for "The Two Towers" was listed as Fullscreen. I have not been able to confirm this so I am really hoping it was just a mistake and that they are not going to start getting in P&S. But I am distressed that some hear are reporting an overabundance of P&S at libraries You would think of all places, a Library would be more in favor of Proper presentation since they are not a business like Blockbuster. I dobut they are going to Purchase one or zero copies of the Hardcopy "The DaVinci Code" and then the Reader's Digest version for all the rest they want to have in stock.

    For those who don't like a waiting list, you know that you shouldn't have to wait until the library actually gets the title in to put your name in for it. Just ask if they are going to be getting it and they will probably put you on the waiting list. I have gotten many good titles as soon as they came out that way.
     
  8. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    My library allows only 3 DVDs at a time for one week. However, they order pretty much everything. Checking stuff out is pretty competitive though. You basically have to put a hold on any new or popular item in order to ensure you'll be able to check it out within this century.

    They've even got most of the oldest Criterion Collection DVDs.
     
  9. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    My library is just starting to get into DVDs, but with that being said, they are very particular about what they bring in. Lots of award-winning films and Criterion discs, although they did have Trainspotting. Great for finding more obscure films and catalogue titles.
     
  10. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    I too use my library- after all, we pay for it, so we might as well use it. Our DVD policy is 3 days for new releases, 7 for old, with a $2 per day late fee. It seems to be hit or miss with FS vs. WS. I agree with WillG, libraries probably should make widescreen their priority.
    And it IS great for those titles you'd never buy or pay money to rent- I took Pluto Nash out from the
    library. :b It is as bad as the reviews say...

    One thing I don't understand though- the shape of the discs is awful. I only take out adult titles, so it's not like kids are tossing them around. My Netflix titles go through the mail, around a processing facility, and to scores of homes without problems. The library discs have about a 40-50% failure/skip rate.
     
  11. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    Because of an unbelievable selection of the classics at my town's library system (Bowling Green, KY), I haven't rented a DVD in over a year. If I want a new release (or a classic that I just love), I buy it.

    1 week time limit, 2 DVDs at a time.

    I love the library!

    I hear they have books, too.

    -Reagan
     
  12. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    The local libraries are slowly expanding their DVD collections. I have my first 2 on hold for me right now. They charge $1.00 each for a one-week rental. Though most of my searches came up blank, I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of titles they carry.
     
  13. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Woah is me, I did notice the P&S version of The Two Towers there today. Hope this is just a one time thing. Better start composing a letter to them
     
  14. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Cinematographer

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    i havent gone to the library to borrow stuff in a long time. Here in nyc they are having a hard enough time keeping the libraries open to buy books

    capt
     
  15. Tony Peck

    Tony Peck Extra

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    Here in western New York (Erie County Libraries) it works much the same way as Martin described in the original post, however, we can only keep the discs for 2 weeks (1 checkout, 1 renew).

    I think it's a great deal, especially if you are backlogged on new releases by a few months. I put my name on the waiting list (sometimes before the library even has the disc) and use it like a Netflix type que. As long as you keep the request list full, and don't mind waiting a while for most new releases, you should always have something available to watch.

    Since our library has made DVDs available for loan I would say it's cut my Blockbuster rentals by 75%. I only go there to rent those films which I must see right away because of their HT potential (TTT, Chicago, etc.) And now with the $1 / 1 night new release program at Blockbuster, even that is a better deal. [​IMG]

    Let's hope that not too many people read this thread though. If everyone finds out it will blow our little known treasure trove of free movies...[​IMG]

    Tony
     
  16. Stephen_Ri

    Stephen_Ri Stunt Coordinator

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    My Library is probably a much like Stephen_J_H's, in that they have a small collection with quality films; mostly Criterions and notable American films. Maybe 40. I think this is the best thing a library can do, and I have yet to see a scratch. They're always in [​IMG]. Today I'm going to get "M" and "Passion of Joan of Arc." 2 days only and fines after that; I think you can get more than 2, but I've never had the time to worry about that.
     
  17. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    Animated titles (or anything with kid appeal) are usually in fairly brutal condition. Just yesterday I was pleased to find a watchable copy of Lady and the Tramp after other fruitless attempts to watch the other scratched copies.

    -Reagan
     
  18. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I check books out of the library. [​IMG]
     
  19. Pete SE

    Pete SE Agent

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    I'm a big collector also but use the library as much as possible for titles I would only rent.

    Right now I just finished watching X-Files Season 3. I actually never watched the show during it's original run. I really enjoyed having the entire Season 3 boxed set to watch with better picture quality than cable and no commercials. I'll be picking up Season 1 tomorrow and have Season 2 on order.
     
  20. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Martin,
    I agree, Portland has a great system. The CD selection is great as well.

    Greg
     

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