Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Library Tip: DVDs and Sticky Fingers

When I first started working at the library, I didn't realize how many services and options were offered. It blew my mind that they had magazines, newspapers, DVDs, puzzles, and even cake pans to check out. I soon learned that during the summer months, DVDs were one of the most popular items checked out besides the books.

On any given work day for me, I must clean 25-50 DVDs and that's just me. We typically have 2-3 people working the circulation desk at any given time during the day. When I first started working at the library, we used the fancy DVD cleaner to get sticky fingers off the disks. Then one day, it was switched out for Pledge. This confused me to no end. "Are we cleaning down the counters with Pledge," I asked a co-worker. I was informed that this was our new DVD cleaner.

I was amazed at how well the cleaner worked on our disks. We seem to get disks back in all manners. Some so heavily scratched you wonder how the played in the player to some kind of food stuck to the disk. The Pledge cleaner worked on all of the disks we cleaned. The cleaner shinned and seemed to smooth out the scratches.

So, my first library tip to you today is, if you need to clean your own disks, try Pledge Cleaner with a screen cloth (one that can be used on flat screens or iPads).

My second tip is, if the disk you have from the library skips, make sure to let them know. We actually have a disk cleaner/repairer at our library. Some disks come in so scratched that we can't get them to play. A trip or two through the repairer always seems to do the trick. However, if a patron doesn't let us know, we don't go through the extra step of repair. We only repair when we know there is a problem with the disk.

My third tip, try not to let small children handle disks from the library. I know, I know, it takes all the fun out of getting a DVD from the library. But most smudges and scratches seem to be on the children DVDs returned to us. This helps save the disks so others can enjoy them.

My fourth tip, if you noticed more than one disk skipping on your DVD player, try cleaning it. More times than I can count when we're told a disk skips to only discover the DVD player had dust in it. I was told by a co-worker who is in charge of repairs to the DVDs that cleaning the player every 3-4 months is best and can help save you a lot of hassle and damaged disks.

I hate to advertise for brands and companies so take this next and final tip with a grain of salt. If you player doesn't like even the smallest of tips, I would suggest saving up for a Sony player. We have one at work where we test our damaged disks on and you wouldn't believe what it can play. I have seen some scratched disks come through that would skip on a player at home (even my home) and it would play perfectly on our at work player. So, if you're in the market, I would suggest a Sony. I don't know what they do to build their players but it seems it can play anything.

Happy DVD watching (and cleaning)!

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