About Those DVDs…

Maxine Bleiweis — everyone’s favorite library director — enjoyed “06880”‘s recent shout-out about the Westport Public Library‘s DVD collection.

In true librarian fashion, she quickly offered up some background information, historical references and intriguing tidbits, so Westporters can better understand what a treasure the library collection is.

Maxine noted that when Downtown Video and Best Video (near Bombay Restaurant) went out of business, they offered their collections to the library.

Not only did the institution purchase both collections (with help from a generous supporter) — the library also got Jim Grosner on staff.

The longtime night manager of Downtown Video, Jim has worked every Monday through Thursday night at the library, ever since the store closed.

Maxine added said that the excellent DVD collection grew when a patron decided that — rather than amass his own film “library” — he would give money to the Westport Library, for everyone to enjoy.

This couple was recently spotted looking for Blu-rays at the Westport Library.

After the man get a Blu-ray player, he continued the tradition with Blu-ray DVDs.  “It’s a financial challenge to have a multiplicity of formats, so his donation was critical,” Maxine praised.  “We now have an excellent Blu-ray collection too.”

But wait!  There’s more!

“Beyond the collection itself is the community feeling you get while you select DVDs and audiobooks,” Maxine said.

“Strangers ask each other for advice.  Some say spontaneously, ‘Have you seen this?  It’s terrific’ to the person next to them.

“Our staff knows the collection well, and also makes great suggestions.  We have many of the Criterion DVDs — very special re-masterings — as well as all the TV shows.

“Our international film collection” — what used to be called “foreign films” — “is superb, and you’ll find every language imaginable. Many people have dropped premium services and Netflix because they find the collection, plus the camaraderie is more important to them.”

Maxine could go on and on, but she’s not that type of librarian.

“06880” has no idea what the next blockbuster trend in video will be.  Whatever it is, the Westport Library will embrace it.

Unlike, um, Blockbuster.

5 responses to “About Those DVDs…

  1. Red and Blotchy

    The library does, indeed, have a fantastic selection but not many new releases. I detect a distaste for Blockbuster in your rhetoric and reporting. I have found Blockbuster-Westport to be a fine friendly place and apparently locally owned franchise. While the “Red Box” and “NetFlix” are convenient and cheaper, I still like the personal contact, so aptly described by Wendy Crowther in yesterday’s blog, offered by “The Block.” Every Thursday, I just call up Sarah or Craig and ask them “what’s new?” And they readily serve my needs by reserving a copy of what’s new that week. Easy sneezy. So what’s the knock? 5 bucks? Join the Rewards Club and you get two-for-one M-W.

  2. I have nothing against Blockbuster, which I have not visited in awhile, but I doubt they have the range of foreign films that the Library has. There are so many good ones that are not winners of “Best Foreign Film” at the Oscars, and the library has an excellent selection of them. A documentary I got at the library recently, “Herb and Dorothy”, about a middle class couple who amassed a world-class modern art collection, was terrific!

  3. Red and Blotchy

    Thanks but I don’t do much foreign stuff. I honestly have trouble with
    British accents these days. You know old age and all.

  4. The Westport Library DVD collection is really amazing. However, the best part (speaking as a recent NYC transplant) is that, unlike everything else in Westport, it’s actually open when I am not at work!

  5. Red and Blotchy

    Well welcome. Stop & Shop used to be open 24-7 too but that like many other places (including perhaps the library) may be diminishing their hours.