An Open Letter to Parents Checking Out Library DVDs

Dear PCOLDVDs,

Is it really necessary to run a chainsaw over the discs before returning them to the library? I mean, I get it. I have two three-year-old girls. Things happen. Sometimes a scratch is inevitable. But even if there are scores of us eagerly awaiting returns so that we can gain a few minutes of peace here and there with the aid of a free movie or show collection, the discs shouldn’t look like they’ve been chewed on. Seriously.

It’s to the point where the girls and I check out five DVDs at a time in the hopes that one of them will play at least halfway through before stopping entirely. Skips, freezes and pauses don’t even phase us anymore. If that DVD is playing at all, even haltingly, we are thankful.

And I know now not to hype up any DVD we take out. Because it won’t play. They never do.

So, in the interest of all of us, I thought I’d post a little how-to.

How to play a DVD from the library that other people will eventually also want to use:

1) Open the case. Stick your thumb in the indentation, and pry open. Don’t use too much force. You want it to pop open, not spring. You don’t want the DVD to come flying out.

2) Press the popper in the middle of the DVD case down gently with your thumb. This should loosen the DVD.

3) Insert your thumb into the hole, and wrap your fingers around the outside of the thin rim. Wait! Not too much. You don’t want your fingerprints on the bottom of the disc. You see, that’s where the disc’s information is.

4) Open your DVD player by pressing the on button, then the eject button. No! Not with the hand holding the DVD. Use the other hand.

5) Carefully place the DVD (shiny side down!) into your player, then press the eject button again (you can use either hand this time).

Your DVD should be ready to play!

Here are some things you should not do:

– DON’T let your child play with the DVD.
– NO sitting on the DVD, scraping the DVD against the wall, floor, dollhouse or toybox.
– REMEMBER, DVDs are not paper for coloring!
– DVDs are not Frisbees.
– DON’T take your DVD outside. It’s an inside toy.

A few reminders:

– Keep DVD away from power tools.
– Tape and scissors are not appropriate around DVDs.
– DVDs are not mirrors.
– They’re also not nail filers.
– Although it will be tempting, don’t use your DVDs as plateware. On that note, remember, DVDs are not food. Don’t let your children chew on them.

Most importantly, if you have accidentally ruined your borrowed DVD, it’s okay! Things happen. Have some decency and report it to the librarian instead of putting it back on the shelf, please.

Using this as an instructional tool, I feel confident we can all start borrowing DVDs from the library with the confidence that they will work as intended when we get them home.

I thank you for your cooperation,


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About parentwin

Parent of twins, blogger, writer and journalist. I write things. Sometimes people even read them.
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5 Responses to An Open Letter to Parents Checking Out Library DVDs

  1. e1aine says:

    So true. I’d like to stick this post up in my library next to the DVD shelf – particularly the bit about power tools. Standing on the DVD is also frowned upon at my library- perhaps we are a bit strict!

  2. Although I still check out movies from the library I am very very cautious and check them for scratches and stuff first. We had checked out a DVD one year and when we got it home not only was it scratched like crazy but it also had a huge crack in it. When I went return it the next day and show them the lady said they couldn’t verify who had done it and I would be responsible for replacing it since it was found damaged during my check out. They wanted to charge me the full price of what the DVD cost from way back when it was released 10 years ago for $19.95. I said no I would find it and bring them a new copy. I found it on Ebay for $4. Totally ridiculous. I understand they could not prove someone else had done it and that maybe we had done it were lying about it but I was offended. So I now check them and make the person aware when checking out of scratches and problems so they will document it in my file. We still try to bring them home and some still work just fine but it is nice to make sure you have them document it!!!

    • parentwin says:

      They lock our cases at the library, to be unlocked only if you check them out!

      • Oh, they do at ours also. Just as she hands them back to me I check them quickly before leaving! I have found a few that were questionable and made them make a note that this was how I left with it just in case! It is better then having to pay to replace one!

  3. e1aine says:

    I can’t believe the Librarian wanted to charge ‘Motherhood Mania’ at all. Outrageous! We know full well at our library that those that report the problems are rarely the ones responsible.

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