Re: Renting collections

Gerald Notaro (
Tue, 18 Dec 2001 12:41:36 -0800 (PST)

John Holland wrote:

> There is no such thing as a "book rental store".

No. But libraries do lend out for free what they are selling. The comparison is fair.

> With books you either buy your own
> copy or you borrow it from the library. There is a huge and legal industry out which
> makes its money off of "renting" videos. Many of these stores do not sell videos at
> all.

But all the large chains do.

> For a library to loan videos, it is putting itself in direct competition with
> the video stores,

Another way to look at it is libraries are using the tax payers' money to give them for
free what private enterprise wants to charge them for.

> and as I said previously (though I was not at CPL when videos were
> introduced, so I can't say how much impact it had on the decision to charge rental
> fees) there was a lot of flack in the video store industry about libraries loaning
> out videos for free, when they were trying to make a living off the same thing, AND
> were paying taxes that supported the library!

Libraries lent videos out long before Blockbuster, Hollywood video, or any of the rest
of them. And at that time there were also many for charge lending libraries of books,
especially in department stores.

> There really is no comparison to books, or if there was it happened a few centuries
> ago when public libraries first came into existence.

That was the argument we Media Librarians got 25 years ago when we tried to get videos
and other media cataloged and classified.