Daily Archives: February 25, 2012

Free Movie Rentals at the Library

Movie rentals have been ubiquitous for quite some time now. From online streaming to mail-in services to those automated boxes you see at grocery stores and strip malls, you can’t go anywhere without having the opportunity to rent movies for just a few dollars compared to paying full price to own a DVD or Blu-Ray Disc that you’ll only watch once.

What many people overlook, is that your public library movies for you to borrow, for no cost at all.

When most people think about renting movies from a public library, they have preconceptions about nature documentaries and science programs geared more toward junior high school students. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with informative and educational material, the public library has so much more to offer in the way of movie rentals than you probably thought.

A trip the public library will reveal that their movie selection spans all genres – from classics to horror, science fiction and fantasy, romance, comedy, mystery, popular television series, anime, and in-depth documentaries. Quite often, public libraries even get in new movies on their release dates so that you don’t have to wait months to borrow that hot movie you missed in the theatre.

For film buffs who don’t quite have the budget or shelf space to drop a few thousand dollars for an ever-growing personal collection of movies, your public library will let you take out a few movies so you can go over those beloved classics and explore new films that you would otherwise pass up because of the cost of renting them.

You also don’t have to worry about the shelves being empty. The public library will let you hold a reserve copy of a movie, and will notify you of when it is in stock, and quite frequently the public library has multiple copies of popular selections so that you aren’t stuck waiting and going home empty handed.

The other thing that many people overlook when it comes to borrowing movies from the public library is that the selection is often broader than what you might find with the stand-by movie rental services. You can always be assured that when you walk into your local movie rental store that there will be tons of copies of the a few movies, but very little in the way of the less popular titles or avante guard movies. Even the big on-line streaming and mail-in services may brag about their incredible selection when compared to brick & mortar stores, but it only takes a quick search to realize that when it comes to independent films, foreign movies and television series (including those from the BBC), and movies that weren’t smash hits, that there are a lot of gaps in their lineups. Apart from a film institute or the occasional art house showing of a movie, the more obscure titles can be found more easily at your public library.

Sometimes you may find that your library doesn’t have a particular title in their movie catalog. Have no fear. With the interconnectivity of public libraries and electronic inter-library loans, a librarian can easily look on-line to see which libraries have the titles you want, and you can send a request to have it shipped to your public library so you can take the more hard to find titles home to enjoy.

The public library has made enormous strides over the years to keep up with the times, and they realize that the people who visit don’t get their information and recreational enjoyment from the pages of books alone, but from various multimedia sources. A few have even started carrying video games for public lending.

So the next time you are in the mood for a movie, and don’t want to deal with the hassle of waiting in line or the risk of spending money on a movie that you might only enjoy for one viewing – or perrhaps you don’t want the frustration of bandwidth usage when streaming, or finding out that the more conventional movie rental services have a very limited selection – you should take a trip to your local public library. Odds are they have what you want to see, for free. Who knows, if you take your time to browse each section, you may find some titles that you are willing to take a chance on and end up broadening your horizons.

With all of these titles spanning every genre imaginable, by using the public library to borrow movies, you will not only be saving money, but you will quickly become the person who is suggesting movies for others to watch, rather than being the one waiting for weeks and months to catch the movies as they trickle onto the store shelves.

Visit your public library today. They’re for much more than books!