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Always looking for more ways to be accessible to renters, one of Redbox’s latest partnerships is with public libraries. The kiosk company is partnering with libraries in Henderson, Nevada; Charlotte, North Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky; Princeton, New Jersey and Orlando, Florida. The libraries participating in the trial receive 3% of the income from the kiosk at their location.

Brian Downing, cofounder of Redbox marketing partner Library Ideas, says that there are about 200 libraries on a waiting list that would like to become kiosk locations. Said Downing:

“It scratches an itch. . . It turns the library into a 24-hour branch, whereas the library typically closes for 8 to 10 hours each night.”

Henderson District Public Libraries assistant director, Gayle Hornaday, said that libraries in her district often see waiting lists as long as twenty people for popular movies and that the new Redbox kiosks should help alleviate the problem. Said Hornaday:

“We can’t really up our expenditures, but by teaming up with this vendor we can provide access to more current movies,”

Another library director, Leslie Burger from the Princeton, New Jersey district, says that Redbox can afford to stock many more copies of popular movies than the library can, freeing up funds to obtain TV series and obscure foreign films. Said Burger:

“It allows us to spend that money on things that Redbox doesn’t stock. . .  It has been a great decision [and it's] really been a win-win for everybody.”

Insiders, are you in one of the library test markets, and if so, have you taken advantage of the arrangement? Do you see this idea catching on with libraries nationwide?

[via The Las Vegas Sun]

23 Responses to “Redbox Partners with Libraries in Nationwide Trial”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    1st timer [visitor]

    Very interesting. I’d much rather rent from Redbox than my library anyway because all discs at my library and scratched to sh!t.

    It’s also interesting that they could establish this kind of relationship, but then again it’s no different than putting a coke or snack machine outside the library.

    I like that it’ll draw more traffic and awareness to public libraries, make use of the hours that the library isn’t open and, hopefully, provide a nice and badly-needed revenue stream to one of our nation’s greatest resources.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    az [visitor]

    I’m still a little confused why libraries offer popular movies. I guess they offer popular books, but it just seems weird. I understand educational movies and the like, but I guess what is “educational” and “not-educational” is disputable. It often cracks me up how large the Horror section is at our local library. I think we could all agree that most Horror films tend to not be “educational” in the traditional sense of the word.

    But hey, I’m glad to see a new RedBox wherever they’ll put one. That would make 4 within a half-mile of my home, which is always a good thing :) I’m still waiting for the drive-thru RedBox stations with 10 boxes and a separate lane for returning movies. If anything it’d be nice if the current RedBoxes had a return station on one of the sides, so I don’t have to wait in line 15 minutes to simply return a movie…

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Bill B. Oteca [visitor]

    I love it! I never liked knowing my tax dollars were being spent by public libraries to purchase Hollywood movies. I would much rather see libraries serve the function of being data rich research facilities.

    I’ve always thought spending $1 to be entertained for two hours was a great deal. I’m so glad this partnership will not only free up library budgets to invest in their facilities but they will also earn some money. This will enable them to hire more librarians (yes, you have to a master’s in Library Science if you want to be a research librarian) and/or extend their hours.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Stupid American [visitor]

      That’s a nice sentiment, but I fear you are in the minority Mr. Oteca. Public libraries fill the requests, to the best of their abilities, of the general public which are less and less for “research” materials and more often for recreational stuff. There is a segment of the populace who see no need for research collections at all, feeling that (right or wrong) all their reference needs can be filled by a Google / Wikipedia search. RedBoxes might decrease pressure on libraries to buy “popular” DVDs, but it is unlikely (IMO) that the savings will be reflected in larger library staffs. I love my public library and hope it survives this terrible economy.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    Smart Bizness [visitor]

    This is a great deal for Redbox. I hear their retail partners (usually dugstores and supermarkets) were getting between 10% to 15% of the rental revenue.

    This is like the Netflix deal. By lowering thier costs, Redbox will be able to grow more quickly. They will then have the option to pay Hollywood more money to obtain product to satisfy their customer base.

    Redbox wins
    the consumer wins
    and Hollywood wins!

    Go REDBOX!

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Donna [visitor]

    I have not used Redbox, but I have borrowed movies from a library. When libraries started loaning movies, I thought it was great. BTW, libraries were not started for educational purposes, but for entertainment. When more people watch movies and access the internet than read books, then libraries need to meet the needs of the people.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    FooBar [visitor]

    Shoot for the moon RedBox! They could literally have a Redbox anywhere they like because of minimal real estate. Damn, they will probably have Redboxes at toll booths and drive thrus
    I think a lot of people are missing the true mission of RedBox, that is they are actually promoting the Redbox brand as the vending machine of infinite products in the future. DVDs are just to get the ball rolling. REDBOX is to vending, as Coca Cola is to Soda…brilliant Redbox!

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    The [visitor]

    Can of worms opening.

    This is not legal, why can’t you people see that? Do I have to explain it?

    PUBLICLY OWNED PROPERTY being used for profit. How obvious is that?

    Why don’t these “library director” people have a clue?

    Next thing you know McDonalds will be able to sell burgers from the library. Let’s sell Subway sandwiches from a counter inside. It will never end.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      asdf [visitor]

      How is this any different from a soda/snack machine at a library?

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      sharon [visitor]

      Our public library has a small restaurant/coffee shop inside, that is very busy, and has infact, been so popular, that the owners have also opened a full service
      restaurant in the town. The library also has a community room that is available for groups to use for concerts, films, lectures, and similar events, and the groups are allowed to charge admission for those events. All of these, (the restaurant, and the group events) pay a portion of their proceeds to the library, sort of like “rent” I guess, similar to what Redbox is planning on doing.
      This has been going on in my town for more than 10 years, and you are the first person I have Ever heard cry “foul”.

    • Member [Join Now]
      su_A_ve [su_a_ve]

      How many state colleges or universities have “McDonald’s” in their student centers?

      The 3% the library gets is not “profit” but it is income that gets spent on books! It’s the same as book sales!

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Brig C. McCoy [visitor]

      Given the reluctance of some portions of the population to fund libraries, it’s not at all uncommon for libraries to partner with businesses for services like this.

      Having been a regional library consultant in Kansas, I’m aware of several libraries renting space to commercial companies. In fact, I don’t know of any US jurisdictions where it’s not legal… the library is either renting space to someone, or actually a partner in the business… as long as the library’s getting paid a reasonable cut, there’s nothing wrong with this.

      …brig

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Stupid American [visitor]

      Actually, you do need to explain it because as far as I can tell, this is perfectly legal. Plus, it is probably the city / county attorney and or the city / county purchasing department that is ultimately negotiating the contracts for these things on behalf of the public libraries, at least and not the “library director people”.

  8. Member [Join Now]
    alans613

    Not sure about this one. I love Redbox but this almost sounds like a pay library to me. I see their point, but isn’t the entire point of a public library to be free?

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Missa [visitor]

    Library’s are wonderful places and can provide people that can’t afford higher education with access to materials to help them learn and expand their horizons. If the libraries can make money off of it to help their budgets, I say go for it. I think library should continue to offer free dvd to rent as well. Maybe redbox could donate some of their previously viewed dvds to the library too.

  10. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    I think it’s a good idea as well

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Aura bryt [visitor]

    ok so the libiary is hoping to be able to eliminate buying 50 copies of finding nemo by pointing people in the direction of the redbox i find this great! and they are talking about putting them outside the libiary for people who cannot make it during normal libiary hours or do not want to be on the waiting list for the newest hit movie if they put this in it will make 2 in my area and maybe 1 in my boyfriends which would save me alot of time though i won’t give up my book obcession teach your kidlets to read!

  12. Member [Join Now]
    richmoral

    Now only if they had a Redbox machine where you could check out your movies with a Library card and then return it as if you were checking it out at the library. That would really get the movie studios made instead of $1 it’s free.

  13. Visitor [Join Now]
    eli [visitor]

    When will red boxes make it to Hawaii??

  14. Visitor [Join Now]
    dewey [visitor]

    I’d like this story more if I knew that Redbox was giving the library the same cut it gives grocery stores and the like. In fact, Redbox should give libraries a larger slice than standard retailers get because: 1) it’s giving the company an audience that isn’t distracted by other things for sale at that venue and 2) Redbox gets to associate with the ‘good feelings’ that people tend to have for their public library. Come on, Redbox step up a bit more on this.

  15. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike [visitor]

    how do i get my public library on the list?

  16. Visitor [Join Now]
    Edwartd Epstein [visitor]

    I’m interested in trying this at the Anne Arundel County Public Library but nobody I spoke to at Red Box knows anything aboput this program. How do I get in touch with Brian Downing?

    Ed Epstein
    Head, Materiasl Management
    Anne Arundel County Public Library

  17. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jonathan [visitor]

    You may want to check out http://www.laptopsanytime.com which is partnering with Libraries on self-service Laptops Dispensing Stations.

    Laptop and Netbook stations are available and the revenue split is much much higher than with Redbox, though a slightly different service!