Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Questions about DVD collections

With more people making use of the Library's free DVD checkouts, we've had a few questions about DVD ratings and how the location for certain DVDs are determined. Just like the books are divided into collections to help guide patrons to appropriate materials for their age and interest, the DVD collections are too.

The Library's collection of DVD is divided into Juvenile (J) for kids, Teen and Adults. DVDs intended for children are in the J DVD area. These have an MPAA ratings no higher than PG. DVDs of particular interest for Teens are housed in the Teen DVD area and can have a rating up to PG-13. Anything rated R or unrated is located in the Adult DVD area. This is not to say that you will not find G or PG rated movies in the Adult section. DVDs are divided by intended audience first. This means you will find "Sound of Music" and many other classic movies in the Adult DVD area because their primary audience is adults.

Some have asked why we do not label DVDs according to their content. I argue that they are already labeled by content - not only are they in a particular collection at the Library, the MPAA rating information is on the DVD case. This rating information generally includes the category upon which the rating is based, such as graphic violence or sexual situations.

The public library's role is to make materials available. It is the parent's responsibility to ensure that the material selected by their own child is appropriate to that child, just as you would at the video store.

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