Re: Renting collections

Jim Scholtz (
Wed, 19 Dec 2001 13:19:04 -0800 (PST)

Just to put my 2 in - actually, historically their were "book rental
libraries" as you call them - first instigated by Benjamin Franklin. they
were called "subscription libraries." In the east, in the early 1920's
public libraries didn't hold much popular fiction. Some general stores
started a rental loan collection of popular pulp fiction - so there is a
slight comparison. Libraries have been using leased book collections for
some time to supplement popular multiple copies - many libraries charge a
per loan/per book fee for this service. This was the actual precident for
video rental collections. 16mm film libraries have long charged fees for
loans, mostly due to the high purchase price of the item. The doctrine of
first sale gives businesses and libraries (and anyone) the right to resell,
loan and/or rent a legally purchased copy of any copyrighted material
(except where there is a contract involved and excluding computer in some
states having a shinkwrap law). Some states have enacted child protection
laws dictating the display of the MPAA rating if those entities charge a
fee for rental (I believe IL has a law like this currently), but no law
prohibits rental charge of any material to a business or library (this
includes a public/private college or university). I'm not sure where this
line of questioning is going or why you're so concerned with it... Jim

At 11:17 AM 12/18/01 -0800, you wrote:
>There is no such thing as a "book rental store". 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. For a library to loan videos, it is putting itself in direct
competition with
>the video stores, 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
>out videos for free, when they were trying to make a living off the same
thing, AND
>were paying taxes that supported the library!
>There really is no comparison to books, or if there was it happened a few
>ago when public libraries first came into existence.
>Jerry Notaro wrote:
>> John Holland wrote:
>> > That we (and most other public libraries
>> > that I have run across) charge a nominal rental fee for theatrical
>> > films came into being mainly to appease video store owners who were
>> > that libraries were giving away what they were trying to make a living
off of.
>> Bookstores could make the same claim. Do you charge a "nominal rental
fee" for
>> books?
>> Jerry Notaro
>John Holland
>Chicago Public Library
>Media Express
>(312) 747-4100