Remember libraries?  You know those places best known as where you live while in college?  Well, they’ve also be known to loan out these things called “books”, and they’re printed on paper.  I know, what a crazy concept, but those places still in exist, and they aren’t completely stuck in the olden days.  Did you know that most of them loan out DVDs?  Well, they do, and it appears they are loaning out a ton of them.

libraryAccording to Courant, a recent study of the number of DVDs being loaned out by libraries, for free mind you, is around 2.1 million per day nationwide, out pacing the two million a day Netflix does a day, and the 1.4 million a day that Redbox rents out via its kiosks.  Even though you and I may not visit the library that often, obviously a lot of people still are.

According to the study, the average library had 73.5 video materials per 1,000 users in 1999, that number has now soared to 166.7 in 2008.  And while the old model for video materials in libraries used to focus solely on items like PBS documentaries, they now include art house films, foreign releases, the latest blockbusters, TV seasons and more.  While the selections aren’t going to give a company such as Netflix much of a run for their money, there is still a heck of a lot of items a person can check out for free that they may not be able to find elsewhere.  (Although, do be warned there will be late fees if videos are not returned on time.)

With the struggling economy, it just might be time to pay your local public library your first visit in years to see what DVDs may be lurking around that you’d like to see.

What say you?  Have you ever checked videos out of the library?  Willing to give it a try?