Part of my job is to monitor the usage of our libraries. I collect statistics on circulation figures, computer use, wi-fi use, how many meetings are held in the branches, how many people visit the libraries, and so on. It’s definitely a numbers game in the library world, but it does show us what is being used, what is not, and highlights areas we may need to improve or change.
In 2007, McClintic Library circulated 740 movies for the entire year. That’s almost 62 movies a month. Not bad, but not thrilling. So I began looking at our collection, trying to pull old movies that no one was watching. I quit adding VHS tapes to the collection, and only purchased DVDs. I eventually got more DVD money to spend on collection development, which is always nice. Then in 2011 I decided to purchase all the movies that were nominated for an Academy Award: best actor, best actress, best supporting roles, best movie, and so on. I even threw in best costuming – because costumes can be so cool – and best documentary.
By the end of 2011, our yearly circulation for movies was 1,151. Improvement! Of course, I knew it would take some time for the word to get around that we were getting a better selection of films. I also knew that I had to keep it up. Last year we circulated 1,699 movies, and this year we are pretty much on track with 1,420 – and we still have one month to go. I have continued to purchase the Oscar nominees, but I’m also on the watch for the new, popular movies and when they are being released to DVD.
So, while we wait for the 2015 Oscar nominations to be announced on January 15, you can watch our current selection of films, including some of these new titles which I just ordered and which should be hitting our shelves in about a week: Tammy, starring Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon; The Fault in Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley; The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep; Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie; Jersey Boys, the story of the singing group The Four Seasons, starring John Lloyd Young; Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner; A Most Wanted Man, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman; and November Man, starring Pierce Brosnan, just to name a few. We charge just $1 for a two night rental, and documentary films are always free of charge.