We here at the library are occasionally surprised to find out that not everyone knows we have DVDs available for check-out. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that some people just think “books” when they think “library”, but we are.

That being said, I thought I’d clue folks in about our DVD collections. We have just under six thousand DVD titles, with multiple copies of a few for a total of just over six thousand seven hundred available.

About 1300 of those are movies and television programs in our Children’s Department. We have all the usual Disney films as well as more recent favorites like the Air Bud series, “Cars,”Planes, Curious George, Backyardigans, Blue’s Clues, Bob the Bulder, Thomas the Tank Engine, Barbie movies, and lots of others.

Besides lots of movies just for fun, we also have over 200 educational DVDs for children. In addition to Bill Nye the Science Guy, we have a slew of signing titles as well as a number of Magic School Bus titles, Brainy Babies videos, Baby Einsteins and, to help Mom and Dad out, some potty training videos as well as introductions to reading and math and even golf for the sporty set!

For the grown-ups, we have 345 documentaries and almost 3600 movies as well as over 800 nonfiction titles and nearly 150 television series.

The television series we own range from series like “The Lucy Show” to “Sex and the City” and “Arrested Development” to mini-series like “War and Remembrance” and “The Thorn Birds” to BBC classics like “Upstairs Downstairs” and “The Inspector Morse Mysteries.” Almost all the television series we own were either donated (hey, feel free to drop off any you’re done with!) or were purchased with grant funds a couple of years ago. Given the vast number of television shows available, we don’t normally buy them, so what we have now is pretty much what we will have. On a happier note, we purchase movies (both classic and new), nonfiction and documentaries all the time.

Speaking of which, we have nonfiction DVDs of all kinds. We have DIY titles like woodworking and carpentry, tie-dye, scrapbooking, digital photography, crocheting and a ”Best of Ask This Old House” to help around the house. Need some help in the kitchen? We have some DVDs on cooking, as well, including some “America’s Test Kitchen” programs. Need help with the dog? We have training DVDs, too. Concerned about your health? We have videos on a number of medical issues, including pain, COPD, GERD, and diabetes as well as a fair number of fitness DVDs.  We also have some concert videos as well as how-to’s for various instruments, including guitar and drums. Dance instruction? We have that, too. Sports? Travel? History? Yup.

For those times you’d just like to be entertained, our 3600+ movies range from classics to cult favorites to recent releases. Oldies like “Stage Door” and “The Caine Mutiny” are here for you alongside “The Return of the Secaucus Seven,” “Babette’s Feast,” “Nashville,” even so-bad-they’re-good (maybe) classics like “Robot Monster,” the original “Little Shop of Horrors,” and the deathless “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”

In the mood for a musical? How about “Calamity Jane,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “My Fair Lady,” or “Moulin Rouge?” to name just a few. Love westerns? We’ve got over a hundred. Science fiction? Over 200, ranging from “Metropolis” to the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” series and “2001” to “The Matrix.”

We even have about 40 silents! The aforementioned “Metropolis,” Garbo, D. W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Lon Chaney, Buster Keaton and more. Check out some truly classic cinema.

Care to watch a documentary for a change of pace? We have the entire Michael Apted “Up” series. Watch a cross-section of English children filmed once every seven years from ages seven to fifty-six. It’s a unique and amazing experience that works on many levels. Then there are the classic Frederick Wiseman documentaries like “Titicut Follies,” “Public Housing,” and the other nine of his we own. Something more recent? We have “Blackfish,” and “West of Memphis,” and “The Queen of Versailles.”

For the high-tech among you, we even have 48 Blu-ray titles and will be adding more sporadically as we buy combo DVD sets. So, think of the Joplin Public Library next time you’re in the mood for a DVD. We have a wide variety waiting here for you.

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