Friday, November 23, 2012

Checkout Math and Video Materials

Let me share one of my concerns with you, my patrons at the public library check out an awful lot of video material. When I think about the amount of video material they check out, I wonder to myself how in the world are they able to watch all of them in their one week, no renewal checkout span. I can hardly get a one and a half hour movie watched in a week; I am so busy! - mostly reading, but perhaps it's just that I don't like television in general.

If it was only one and a half hour movies getting checked out, I suppose I wouldn't be so bothered. However, when I notice patrons checking out copious amounts of television series all to be watched in a week, that's when I begin to do some disturbing math ....

Patrons can check out 4 DVDs out at once. So, say for instance, our patron Joe checks out 4 TV series seasons, each with 4 to 5 discs. Each season about 13 episodes long, each episode lasts 44 minutes without the commercials....

4 DVDs x 13 episodes x 44 minutes = 2288 minutes / 60 minutes = 38 hours of video materials.

7 day checkout x 24 hours per day = 168 hours in a week.

38 / 168 = 22.6% time of week watching TV

Now... I tried to plug it into my schedule which includes 40 hours of work and I get a good 8 hours of sleep every night plus 7 hours of lunch breaks where I'm not near a TV....

168 avaliable - 40 work - 56 sleep - 7 lunches = 65 hours of free time per week.

65 - 38 = 27 hours after I watch all my TV series I checked out from the library.

38 / 65 = 60% of my free time watching TV.

Then I try to think about all the other things I have to do in those short 65 hours... like take care of my dog and cats and chickens, do grocery shopping, clean/organize, drive to and from places, spend time with my loved ones, READ! (I can't imagine my life without reading) ... and play video games with my lovely one and my bro... that's an awful lot of TV time. I couldn't do it. Sitting in front of a TV that long would drive me crazy.

Now I have to do some factoring for variables : what if Joe doesn't have a job? or works part-time? what if Joe has no responsibilities other than his job? what if Joe's family time IS TV time? what if Joe doesn't sleep at all? What if Joe has multiple TVs in his house and multiple people watching the DVDs he check out? I hope that there is truth to the last one.

38 hours of television seems like a lot to me, so I am baffled when there are families of four or five or more members who come in all wanting to check out video materials on their cards. Now they have GOT to have multiple TVs (or the TV is on constantly) in order to get through all the material they check out.

That is a lot of people watching a lot of television in their spare time.

I'm a little overwhelmed with those numbers, probably because I hardly watch more than an hour or two of television every week. Okay, so I like to play on YouTube so I'll count that as TV time, but I'm not even on for more than 10-15 minutes every day. Granted, I probably play video games for six to eight hours out of that week (and even more after Skyrim came out, but can you really blame me? If not, Fus-Ro-Dah you.) I read at least seven hours every week; some weeks when I get a really good batch, I read even more than that. I'm awfully proud of that.

.... of course, there is the horrible inevitable that they don't watch the movies at all and simply pirate them through those DVD copying softwares. And while I know they really can't get in trouble for it unless they try to sell them or give out a whole bunch of copies to their friends... that's not cool, man.

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