Remember those Friday nights perusing your local Blockbuster, checking out your weekend’s DVDs with a coke in hand (chocolate chip cookie dough bites for me, thank you very much)?
Then came Netflix, and our lives changed drastically.
Well, your local library might bring back some of that Blockbuster magic.
Libraries have this really cool thing called Interlibrary Loan, which basically opens up the possibilities of you finding almost anything that you want to consume. Tweet this.
While I’ve used Interlibrary Loan ever since learning about its magic in college (I used to work as a librarian, aka the coolest federal work study job ever), I’ve never used it for getting my hands on the DVDs I want to watch.
So this made me wonder, what if our library could fulfill our $12.98/month ($155.76/year) Netflix queue for free?
I went through our Netflix queue as is, and searched for each of the DVDs on our library’s homepage, and then if it wasn’t available there, on the ILL page.
Honestly, I was shocked with what I found: 100% of our Netflix queue is available for pickup from the library just two miles down the road.
Our Current Netflix Queue (38 Long)
Curious How Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Works?
ILL is the sharing economy at its best.
With all of the libraries across the nation, it’s likely that one will have a book, DVD, audio book, etc. that you want. But instead of you having to drive to Nebraska for a copy of Straight Outta Compton, you just order the DVD through your local library (either in person or online) and they will order it from whatever library has it, then have it shipped to them for free.
Meaning you can now get the material at your local library whenever it comes in for free. And of course you return the item to your library as well, who will then ship it to wherever it’s supposed to go to next.
Not only that, but in our library’s ILL system, you can start a queue just like in Netflix, called “Things to Checkout”.
Each library has slightly different rules. Ours has the following:
- Maximum of 5 ILL active requests at a time (includes pending and checked out ILL requests)
- ILL requests count towards your maximum of 30 holds allowed per cardholder
- Checkout time is 3 weeks and no renewals are allowed
Patience, of course, is a necessity if you’re going to do this. For our library’s ILL system, you have to wait between 2 and 6 weeks for delivery. But honestly, you wait that long (or longer) for items in the mid-range of your Netflix queue anyway, right?