Variety at the library
DVDs and audio books popular at Glace Bay branch
It’s not just books that draws Diane Reid to the Glace Bay branch of the Cape Breton Regional Library.
Reid loves to borrow DVDs, describing it as “convenient.”
“I like getting them from the library because you don’t have to bring them back right away, you have two weeks,” said the Donkin woman. Reid is not alone. A total of 50,402 DVDs were borrowed from the Cape Breton Regional Library — which includes the McConnell in Sydney and 11 other branches — over the past year.
A total of 23,110 DVDs were borrowed at the Sydney library with the Glace Bay library following with 8,774 withdrawls. The next highest was 4,261 in North Sydney, 2,804 in New Waterford and 2,206 in Sydney Mines.
Reid, who worked at the Donkin library for 37 years, has loved movies since she was a child and prefers the library over a computer.
“There’s no where to rent (DVDs) anymore.”
Faye MacDougall, regional librarian for the Cape Breton Regional Library, said DVDs and audio books are extremely popular in Glace Bay.
MacDougall said the population is higher in Glace Bay and the New Waterford library’s numbers are down due to extensive renovations last year.
MacDougall said as video rental stores began to close more people began turning to the library to access DVDs.
“They may not have Internet at home or a subscribed site like Netflix,” she said.
“This is becoming one of the last places they can actually access (DVDs).”
As well MacDougall said they have 1,300 audio books throughout the regional library system, which many people use while doing another activity such as knitting or cleaning or they are used by someone with a visual impairment.
There is a full collection of audio books for adults and a smaller collection for children.
“They can go to any branch and if the branch doesn’t have (a particular title) then we’ll request it from a branch that does have that title.”
A total of 690 audio books were checked out of the Glace Bay branch last year compared to 157 in North Sydney, 64 in New Waterford and 23 in Sydney Mines.
There were also more than 33,000 downloads of e-books and audio books last year throughout the library system.
MacDougall said many of the branches are quite busy and attract residents for reasons unique to the community such as the New Waterford branch where the youth programs are well attended.
“In New Waterford they have a girl power group and that has been very popular.”
She said the Baddeck branch is well used, adding it is a good geographical location and serves a good part of Victoria County.
Cindy Tiller, manager of the Glace Bay branch, has been with the Cape Breton Regional Library since 1980 and at the Glace Bay branch since 1982.
“I think (DVD/audio book rentals) has an awful lot to do with the video stores closing but also with the price of cable and fibre-op jumping by leaps and bounds. I think some people don’t have cable and might use the DVDs to supplement their entertainment. “
She said at the Glace Bay library there are 1,109 DVDs and 86 audio books as well as VHS tapes with popular programs not available on DVD.
Natasha Eason of Sandy’s GMV in Sydney, says as far as she knows there isn’t anywhere to rent DVDs in the CBRM.
“To buy them used, people come to us now or the flea market.”
She said there is a big turnover at the store.
“We probably have more than 4,000 DVDs if not more.”
Diane Reid, left, of Donkin looks through DVDs at the Cape Breton Regional Library’s Glace Bay branch with assistance from manager Cindy Tiller. A total of 8,774 DVDs and 690 audio books were checked out at the Glace Bay branch last year.