Libraries top Netflix, Redbox when it comes to loaning DVDs

Considering my family are some of the biggest Library renters ever, I shouldn’t be surprised by this…and yet I am. I haven’t been to a Library for a while, but man their movie selection used to be pretty awful. Of course, you can grab a bunch of DVDs at once. I don’t know, still impressive, I just wonder if it’s a good use of your Public Library’s funding.

So says a new survey from the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, a nonprofit national library cooperative, which found that public library branches in the U.S. lend out a whopping 2.1 million DVDs a day, topping the two million discs rented daily by Netflix and the 1.4 million DVD rented each day by Redbox, according to (by way of the bloggers at Inside Redbox).

Pretty impressive, and it also turns out (according to a separate survey noted in the piece) that the video catalog of your average library has more than doubled over the past decade or so, with 166.7 video "materials" (including DVDs and old VHS cassette tapes) available per 1,000 people as of 2008, compared with 73.5 materials per thousand foiks back in 1999.