JOPLIN, Mo. —
We at the library are occasionally surprised to find out that not everyone knows we have DVDs available for checkout. I guess we shouldn't be surprised that some people just think "books" when they think "library," but we are.
We have almost 6,000 DVD titles -- multiple copies of a few give us a total of more than 6,700 available. About 1,300 of those are movies and television programs in our children's department.
We have all the usual Disney films as well as more recent favorites like the "Air Bud" series, "Cars," "Planes," "Curious George," "Backyardigans," "Blue's Clues," "Bob the Bulder," "Thomas the Tank Engine," "Barbie" movies and lots of others.
Besides lots of movies just for fun, we also have more than 200 educational DVDs for children. In addition to "Bill Nye the Science Guy," we have a slew of science titles as well as a number of "Magic School Bus" titles, "Brainy Babies" videos and "Baby Einsteins." To help Mom and Dad out, we have some potty training videos and introductions to reading and math.
For grown-ups, we have 345 documentaries and almost 3,600 movies, as well as more than 800 nonfiction titles and nearly 150 television series. The television series we own range from series such as "The Lucy Show," "Sex and the City" and "Arrested Development."
Almost all the television series we own were either donated or were purchased with grant funds a couple of years ago. Given the vast number of television shows available, we don't normally buy them, so what we have now is pretty much what we will have. On a happier note, we purchase movies (both classic and new), nonfiction and documentaries all the time.
Speaking of which, we have nonfiction DVDs of all kinds. We have do-it-yourself titles such as woodworking and carpentry, tie dye, scrapbooking, digital photography, crocheting and a "Best of Ask This Old House" to help around the house.
Need some help in the kitchen? We have some DVDs on cooking, including some "America's Test Kitchen" programs. Need help with the dog? We have training DVDs.
Concerned about your health? We have videos on a number of medical issues, including pain, COPD, GERD, diabetes and fitness.
We also have some concert videos and how-to's for various instruments, including guitar and drums. Dance instruction? We have that, too. Sports? Travel? History? Yup.
For those times you'd like to be simply entertained, our movies include classics, cult favorites and recent releases. Oldies such as "Stage Door," "The Caine Mutiny," "The Return of the Secaucus Seven," "Babette's Feast" and "Nashville" are here. Even so-bad-they're-good (maybe) classics such as "Robot Monster," the original "Little Shop of Horrors," and the deathless "Plan 9 from Outer Space" are available.
Care to watch a documentary for a change of pace? We have the entire Michael Apted "Up" series. Watch a cross-section of English children filmed once every seven years from ages 7 to 56. It's a unique and amazing experience that works on many levels.
For the high-tech among you, we have 48 Blu-ray titles and will be adding more sporadically as we buy combo DVD sets.
Linda Cannon is a collection development/circulation librarian for the Joplin Public Library.