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ISSUE 117 VOL 11 PUBLISHED 2/27/2004

Home entertainment: Library offers DVD, video rentals

By Jean Mullins
Contributing Writer

Friday, February 27, 2004

St. Olaf students now have an alternative movie rental store: Rolvaag Memorial Library. The library recently changed its policy on student film check-out, and as of first semester finals, students can check out feature films, documentaries and anything else the library has to offer. And now the library is requesting the help of students in purchasing new films for the librarys collection.

Students can check out any video recording in the librarys collection of 3,972 titles for three days for free.

"We dont charge for anything in the library," said head librarian Bryn Geffert.

However, students who fail to return their rentals on time face hefty fees. The late fee for each item each day it is overdue is $5. The fine jumps to $10 per day per item if it is recalled by a professor. If an item is lost, there is a $20 processing fee in addition to its cost.

The policy change came as a result of student and staff suggestions. Geffert said that students often commented on the frustration of only being able to borrow movies to watch in the library or having to request that a teacher check out a movie for a class presentation. The library staff surveyed other liberal arts college libraries around the country and found that the majority of them allowed students to check films and other media out of the building.

The policy change proved to be popular over Interim and the library staff hope it will continue to be popular with students during second semester.

"I think its just dandy," Cate Redman 07 said.

Over Interim, a campus community service group, Oles Promoting Extended Community, sponsored the annual mini-golf tournament in the library. Accord-ing to Geffert, the event was a success in that it sold out and raised a total of $600. $300 of these proceeds will go to the purchase of new DVDs and videos for the library, while the other half of the money will go to the service group.

"We want to use this primarily for films that students are interested in," Geffert said. "In the past we primarily bought educational films, and now we really want to hear what students want."

The deadline for student suggestions is March 15, and the library will start ordering on March 10. Suggestions already received have a good chance of being ordered. Sara Leake, a library staff member in Circulation and Interlibrary Loan, said, "So far we havent received that many requests."

Students interested in requesting a particular feature film, documentary, or other video or DVD should write their suggestion down and put it in the box on the circulation desk in Rolvaag. There is no preference as of now whether the library will buy requests in DVD or VHS format, and the library staff is waiting to see if students will specifically request a particular format.

"The video industry seems to be moving very quickly towards DVD format," Geffert said. "Probably soon the bulk of orders are going to be DVDs." Currently the library has about 160 DVDs that are available for browsing online, but are stored behind the circulation desk and must be requested. The rest of the librarys collection, in VHS format, can be browsed in the media room in Rolvaag library as well as online through the librarys website.

The Pause also recently began offering DVDs in addition to their collection of VHS recordings. The Pause, however, charges $1 per rental, and a late fee of $1 a day per item. It also only offers one-day rentals. Right now, the Pause offers more contemporary Hollywood movies of many genres.

The librarys entire collection is easy to view online through the librarys website. A keyword search with the words, "video recording" will produce a list of everything in the librarys catalog. Other helpful keyword searches are "DVD," which will produce a list of the librarys DVD collection, and "Feature Films," which will bring up all non-documentary films in the library.

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