You may have heard this question before. You may have even thought it yourself. Libraries should be free, right? Paying money to watch movies sucks. However, fees notwithstanding, before I worked at the Orem Library, I probably came here most often to use the media collection. As a college student in the humanities, I had a long running list of movie recommendations and assigned movies I needed to watch for classes, and somehow, magically, a) the Library always had the movie I was looking for and b) the movie was always in relatively good condition, which was more than I could say for movies acquired at other places.
Since working here, I have been even more impressed by just how excellent the OPL media collection really is. Other than the Salt Lake City Library, Orem Library has the largest public library media collection in the State of Utah, which is funded by the video fees. The small fee pays for our movies and music and the licenses required to screen movies. It also saves the Library’s budget for other collections of print books, audiobooks, ebooks, databases, etc.
While some libraries elect for no-fee video checkouts, it is common to have a fee for media items, per the American Library Association (ALA Library Factsheet 7). It is actually the most cost-effective option for patrons, the Library, and Orem City residents. With over 58,000 titles and growing, we are all maintaining one of the biggest and best media collections in the country!
Finally, the price ($1 for a week checkout, 50 cents for 4 discs or more for a 2-week checkout) is a great deal compared to shelling out over 7 bucks to see a movie on the big screen. And don’t forget the film screenings offered every Monday and Friday for free in the library. And did I mention you can check out nonfiction films for free? All in all, we are lucky to have access to a fantastic media collection here in Orem and we should all take advantage. Now who’s ready to pop your own popcorn and spend a dollar for an awesome movie night?