Public Libraries Loan Out More Movies Than Big Chain DVD Rental Services, according to a 2010 Report

This is kind of surprising. A recent report, dubbed How libraries stack up: 2010 [PDF], by OCLC found that U.S. public libraries loan out 2.1 million videos every day. In contrast, according to the Hartford Courant, Netflix ships around 2 million DVDs, Redbox 1.4 million, and Blockbuster 1.2 million. The rise in popularity of getting DVDs by library card comes from the fact that community members are able to check out DVDs at no charge and the loan periods are fairly reasonable. What’s more, the selection of current and special interest movies has more than doubled in the past 10 years. I think the last time I checked a DVD out from the library I was able to keep it for 7 days — and then had the option to renew it online. However, the report also revealed a troubling fact. In the same time period, the number of printed books and periodicals fell from 2,846 volumes per 1,000 people to 2,767 volumes. Makes you wonder… are we headed toward idiocracy? My guess is probably not, but movie, music, and audio-book entertainment options funded by our tax dollars has grown considerably. Dig the new Blu-ray section and audio listening endcaps above. Image credit: Skokie Public Library

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