Have you ever wondered why the library doesn’t carry the show “OZARK,” seasons 2 and 3 of “Stranger Things,” or the latest season of “The Crown”? There’s a reason behind this that goes deeper than the library’s collection policy. As an institution representative of the community, we purchase new and trending materials, items that include diverse viewpoints, and items that discuss issues important to the public. However, availability frequently guides the purchasing decisions that we make.
Companies like Netflix choose not to release the content they create (Netflix Originals) on DVD right away or at all since exclusive content drives up subscriptions to their service. Movies produced by traditional movie creators are being released to Disney+ and HBO Max at the same time as they’re coming to movie theaters, and the DVD publishing industry is struggling to find its place in the new system.
Libraries haven’t quite found where we fit into this yet either. Subscriptions to Netflix and other video streaming services are supposed to be shared among only family units. Sharing a login with people outside your family violates many companies’ terms of service and can be illegal. Luckily, there are already streaming companies that are navigating copyright laws and providing streaming services to library customers.
Kanopy, for instance, is a great example of library innovation. The service provides many kids shows, documentaries, film festival hits, and other thoughtful entertainment. With your library card, you can sign in and stream unlimited kids shows, and 10 movies a month per library account. However, since this is a curated service, we have no control over the content provided. Kanopy acquires rights and provides content that cycles in and out over time just like commercial streaming services do.
If you’d like to check out Kanopy, you can download the app on many devices or access it from your computer here: https://laportelibrary.kanopy.com/
When it comes to books in all formats, some authors are now choosing to publish with Amazon. Similar to Netflix, Amazon does not release certain titles in print at all, they are only released in Kindle format or on their Audible platform, making it unavailable to the library and increasing subscriptions to their own service.
All publishers have many things to consider when choosing what to publish and in which formats. Frequently they have a policy that guides them, just as the library does. These policies are unique to each publisher. If you have concerns about materials that are being published (or not) by any publisher, you should reach out to their customer service representatives and make your opinions heard!
If there’s something you’re not finding in the catalog, please feel free to submit a Suggest a Title form on our website. You can find the link at the top of our catalog as pictured below.
When we receive the submission, we assess the material for age, popularity, and other criteria listed in the policy to ensure that it fits the scope of the library’s collection before looking to purchase through our vendors.
If we cannot find an item to purchase, we will make a note of it on your library account. Customer service staff will read these to you when you visit the library, or you can include an email address where you would like to be contacted. If you receive no reply, then it is likely that we will be acquiring the item either through purchase or Interlibrary Loan and it will be reserved for you when it arrives. Items usually show up between 4-6 weeks after the request was placed, but this time may vary depending on suppliers.
We are unable to reserve eBooks for customers, but you can expect the title to appear in the Overdrive/Libby catalog within 1-2 weeks if we purchase it.
As always, please contact us with any questions regarding materials at the library!