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Or should we say two? Walter Carter (above left), a relative newcomer to RV from Seattle, loves to watch movies. When he lived in Seattle teaching math in a public high school he started to build a collection of DVDs (i.e., movies). He had a favorite pawn shop that sold them for a dollar each and even allowed him a full refund if he did not like the movie. He moved to Covelo a year ago on the advice of a friend who loved the country life here as Walter does. He bought property up on Dingman Ridge and found a job in the high school tutoring three days a week and sometimes subbing the other two days. His retirement dream was to sit back with a glass of wine and watch movies in his mountain home. But after meeting our charming librarian, Rachel, he figured he could enrich the library with all his movies and they would still be available to him whenever he needed one. So in the middle of January he delivered his collection of 2000 DVDs to our library.
Back in December a long time resident of RV asked the library to buy a special collection of movies at his expense. That donor was the Friends VP, Lew Chichester. He describes how he came to this decision: "When we were living in Mendocino, with three teenagers all going to high school, there were many of the classic movies available to rent at the video stores there and I chose to treat the family to many of the great films of the past as part of their cultural education. For our library in Covelo I submitted a list from the American Film Institute of the 100 greatest American movies and offered to pay for the entire selection. I really don't have any particular favorites, they are all worthwhile, and I would hope that watching these movies will help the younger generation have a better understanding of the culture and arts of America, or at least have some passing knowledge of the films which are often referenced in the context of our shared heritage."
This is all very fine. But how does Rachel get well over 2000 DVDs processed and on the shelf when she hardly has time to do everything required of her already? Here's the good news. Walter, perhaps feeling some responsibility about what he has created, and Curtis Dightman (picture above right), a long time Friend of our library, started to meet on a regular basis and get these DVDs processed. Along the way they picked up three elementary school girls to help, pictured below: (l. to r.) Latonya Curtis, and the Osborne sisters Katharine and Merri . This team processed 600 DVDs in February and March. Only 1500 more to go.
Several steps are required to process a DVD into the library system. Rachel patiently explained to me what is involved. Here's the list:
1) Photo copy the cover case and apply it to a blank case where the DVD is stored behind the checkout desk. Empty display cases with the movie's original artwork will be placed on the shelves for patrons to browse.
2) Identifying stickers go on the loaner case next: bar code, library address label, a spine label containing a reference number (referring to the order of processing) and the first word of the movie's title, and a red RVM (Round Valley Mendocino) sticker. On the disc itself, a red doughnut-shaped label identifying it as belonging to the Round Valley Library is applied. The display case also gets a spine label and a strip of red tape identifying the movie as "NEW" to the collection.
3) Pat usually enters the movie into the County's computer system. She compares the information on the label with the records available online to see if the county already has the movie listed. It is important that special features, languages, and screen formats match the records exactly. If the movie is in the system, it only takes a few minutes to find, match, and add the movie. If the version we have is not in the system, we send it off to Ukiah where the records are imported and the movie is incorporated into our computerized circulation system. Rachel estimates 20% of our new DVDs are not in the system.
A borrower can reserve a DVD by going on line. More commonly, a borrower browses the available movies shelved in alphabetical order on the wall west of the fiction books. Then he/she takes the empty display cases (limit of 10) to the checkout desk. The library person looks at the reference number and finds the case with the same number on the shelves behind the checkout desk (pictured behind Walter and Curtis) and then scans it and the happy patron has a movie for a week.The book cart shown below has 100 DVDs representing an average day's checkouts of movies; a number that keeps growing.
Some of our patrons take out ten movies one day and return them all the next! Well, we library people say, "Whatever gets them in the door is good."
Sometimes I see a movie and it moves me to read the book. Sometimes the reverse. I can recall this happening with: Seabiscuit
by Laura Hillenbrand, Blood Money
by David Ignatius, The Girl Who Played with Fire
by Stieg Larsson, A Night to Remember
(Titanic) by Walter Lord, Wave
(tsunami) by Sonali Deraniyagala, One Shot
(Jack Reacher) by Lee Child and the John Grisham books. So who knows how many viewers are being compelled to read the book.
The graph below shows how circulation of DVDs and books has taken a big jump from last year and has been climbing steadily since January. New patrons are signing up to use the library, and the book checkout increase in all likelihood is stimulated by more people using the library at first just for DVDs.
Thank you Walter and Lew and the DVD crew.