This weekend we tried something new. We rented a movie from a redbox. I think it's pretty cool. You just pick the title you want, swipe your credit card, and voila! out pops your movie. For security reasons, they have you enter the zip code of the billing address of the credit card.
The only thing I was slightly concerned about was I didn't know when it had to be returned. But after just looking at their website now, it says there aren't any late fees.
When I first saw the redboxes start to appear in stores, I thought it was a great idea. Why in the world couldn't libraries be doing this? It really makes video rental so easy!
I have actually suggested at my library that we get a redbox. My suggestion met with a lot of resistance. (no surprise there) Partly because we don't charge at my library to check out a DVD and partly because it was seen as a commercial venue.
Well, what if we partnered with redbox? We could either: a) ask them for a reduced price or b) the library could pay a fixed fee every month so that patrons could borrow DVDs for free or c) what if the library provided the content (the DVDs) and the redbox was merely a system for distribution?
One immediate problem: our library cards do not have a magnetic strip. But they do have barcodes. What if redbox could prototype a machine that had a barcode scanner to read the library barcode, then the person could enter their PIN and then borrow movies for free?
Ultimately, trying to force the redbox into a library model would be difficult at best, depending on how willing they are to work with the library. That's why I say, just put the redbox in the library and let the chips fall where they may. You say you don't want to wait for the library copy of Cloverfield to become available? For just a buck, you can take it home tonight.