Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Now coming to a library near you - Netflix

Hacking Netflix had an interesting post last week about how Palo Alto Library was considering outsourcing DVD rentals to Netflix. They ask "...should libraries be renting movies in the first place?"

The resulting comments were interesting (I recommend reading them). Many things were brought up - The need to stock hard to find movies is not needed because Netflix has everything. Netflix can keep good working copies of movies. One of the biggest points being made that with so much available to stream online, and the quality of various media, why bother with movies, CDs, and to a point even books & magazines?

There was one point not made though. Not everyone has a computer and/or internet at home. You maybe have a DVD player, say from a friend, but no money to join Netflix or even rent from a local brick & morter place.

Many years ago the first VHS machine our family got was from a friend who got a new machine with a remote (yes, that long ago) and they were going to throw out their old machine. Truth was we did not have the money at the time to rent videos so we went to the library and borrowed theirs.

Would I support my library going to Netflix for DVD rentals? Sure. Would I dump my current Netflix membership? Probably not. My guess is that any library would have a 1 or 2 out at a time plan. At this time I am not looking to downgrade my plan. Now if I could get them to pay for my 3 at a time plan...

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