Richter launches free DVD rental program

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Richter Library launched UDVD, a catalog for DVDs available as of Jan. 27.

The program has been developing since the beginning of the 2013 academic year, said head of Web and Emerging Technology, Andrew Darby.

Students can check out free DVDs from the Richter Library and pick movies online according to a specific year, genre, country, language or awards. They can also be organized by director, actor, screenwriter or composer.

“It has more of a ‘scholarly approach’ because these movies can be used for research or classwork,” Darby said. “We are not a replacement for Netflix; we are simply using a new technology for the library and the students.”

The earliest movie on the database is a short film called “Card Party,” directed by the famous French filmmaker Georges Melies. However, some movies on UDVD can be watched for entertainment like “Les Miserables.”

“We are constantly adding movies to the system, especially since it is so new,” Darby said.

There are several ways to select movies for UDVD, said Terri Robar, the education and outreach librarian. Robar makes sure to stock Academy Award nominated films, as well as nominations from other award shows.

“I watch the Academy Awards each year and buy every title nominated for best picture plus every film that wins in every other category,” Robar said. “The library has done this retrospectively since 1927, when the awards began.”

Additionally, professors request movies to assist with their classes.

“One professor was talking about stereotyping in her class and asked us to add a list of film that showed examples of stereotyping of various ethnic groups,” Robar said.

Robar has also noticed that students do request movies. Those films are added to the catalogue “as long as we can envision a wide interest among our patrons, but we will not buy self-help sort of titles.”

Krystina Scott, a sophomore and student employee at Richter, said she believes this program will be a good advantage for the university.

“I know for some classes you need to see movies, so it’s a good idea to get them here instead of buying them,” Scott said.

In the future, the library hopes to expand the collection and even add an iPad on the first floor to serve as a kiosk for the UDVD catalog.

To request a movie to pick up at the library, students must go online to library.miami.edu/udvd.

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