In true librarian fashion, she quickly offered up some background information, historical references and intriguing tidbits, so Westporters can better understand what a treasure the library collection is.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