snoqueen wrote: (within reason -- you have to get your porn somewhere else). To some people, seeing a movie is as important as reading a book, so to restrict access to only paper-print materials is primitive and obtuse.
Why is porn not "within reason"? To some people, seeing a porn movie is as important as reading a book or viewing an "Evil Dead III" DVD, so to restrict access to only hollywood movies is primitive and obtuse.
We haven't discussed video games. I'm not sure, but I suspect the library is providing video games as well. Does that fall within your "within reason" standard, or your idea of the purpose of a public library?
This is not a black and white issue where the choices are obvious, and those who see it differently are primitive and obtuse.
I never suggested access should be paper-print only, not even close. However, I don't think that libraries should invest a lot of resources and staff time in video games or popular movies that can be cheaply rented at Blockbuster. I don't see any public interest in duplicating Blockbuster & Netflix, especially since it invariably comes at the expense of providing other resources - online subscriptions to information databases, magazines, new editions of books, electronic books, impressive music box sets. These are resources the average person can't so easily access on their own. My solution is to tamp down the video-store aspect by requiring a $1 copay from patrons. Actually, that is how it used to work years ago.
What I see with the DVD service is it mostly represents a subsidy to people who most aggressively pursue freebies, resulting in little cultural contribution to the community as a whole. That's not the whole story, maybe some people who genuinely can't afford to rent a DVD get some access.