Blockbuster Leery of The Competition--Libraries

In the dog eat dog world of 2005, the video rental places are a bit nervous about libraries lending recent videos...for free.

In this AP article , reporter John Seewer notes, "The nation's two biggest movie-rental chains, Blockbuster and Movie Gallery, said they have not seen evidence that librarians are stealing their customers. They contend that they offer more convenience and better selection than libraries.

"While it may be a creative alternative, it's really not a threat to our business," Blockbuster spokesman Blake Lugash said.

The number of video materials stocked by libraries nationwide has risen by 56 percent in four years, according to the most recent figures available from the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2000, the Toledo (OH) library circulated 104,639 DVDs. The number jumped to 807,169 by 2004.

Doesn't bode well for Blockbuster, not to mention the encroachment of Netflix, etc.

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Late Fees

They contend that they offer more convenience and better selection than libraries. Oh please, what convenience does Blockbuster offer? Late fees?

We aren't video clerks...

Or are we? I knew a woman who used to work in the Audio-Visual section at a mid-size city downtown library. In the 80's, they were working with the schools and advising them on filmstrips, documentaries, etc. Real work. Once fiction videos came into the place, she decided she didn't need an MLS to be a video store clerk ("Rambo is over there..."), so she quit and went to work in an academic library. The only public library I ever knew that stayed open on Friday night did so for the video crowd... Bosted circulation.

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