By Sherrie DeMartino
I love sitting down and watching a good movie! The movie theater would be my first choice of venue. You can’t beat watching a movie on the big screen with surround sound and a big bag of buttery popcorn! If you don’t get a chance to go to the theater, movies are usually out on DVD in three or four months.
That’s where my job comes in. The Carroll Valley Library branch currently orders the DVDs for the Adams County Library System. We order from a company called Midwest Tape which is a full-service media distributor based in Holland, Ohio. Midwest Tape has been the leading distributor of DVDs and audiobooks to libraries since 1989 and has been serving public libraries exclusively for the last 25 years. Midwest tape issues a monthly Video Buyer’s Guide that lists available DVDs and information about each of them, such as stars, a short description, and the release date. This is an excellent resource to use and is one of the first things that we look at each month when we are getting ready to order.
The three kinds of DVDs that we order are fiction, non-fiction, and TV series. Midwest Tape has a calendar that lists the week of the month and the DVDs that are being released that week for each category. The first category is Hot New DVD releases. These are the blockbuster movies with actors whose names you’d instantly recognize and/or award-winning movies. Marvel movies and Oscar winners are usually in this category. We usually order at least two of each movie in this category. The next category is New Fiction DVDs. These are the lesser-known movies with actors that aren’t so well known. For each of these movies, we look up the title on amazon.com and look at the reviews. We also check the reviews on rottentomatoes.com and will purchase a copy if the reviews are good.
The next category is non-fiction. PBS is one of the major publishers in this section, along with BBC, Dreamscape Media, and Gravitas Ventures. We purchase many of the PBS DVDs and others that are about interesting topics that would have a wide crowd appeal. The last category is TV series. For these, we check to see if we own previous seasons of the series. If it’s a new series, we again check Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes to see how people have reviewed it.
The final thing that we consider when purchasing DVDs is patron requests. If the library system doesn’t own a movie that you would like to watch, you can request to borrow it from another library system (Interlibrary Loan), or if it’s a newer movie, you can fill out a purchase request to see if we would consider purchasing it for our collection. Both the Interlibrary Loan and Purchase request forms are located on our website (www.adamslibrary.org) under the services tab. We will purchase the item if it is available on Midwest Tape and if the reviews are favorable.
With the price and number of streaming services on the rise, don’t forget to check out the DVD collections at any of the six branches of the Adams County Library System. We have thousands of new releases, nostalgia titles, new seasons of TV shows to binge-watch, and non-fiction documentaries to entertain you. The best part is that they are free to borrow with your library card!
Sherrie DeMartino is Carroll Valley Library Branch Manager, Adams County Library System.