In the era of Netflix and Hulu, binge-watching shows and movies has become a hallmark of the home-entertainment experience, especially during a time when TV has, for so many of us, become a vital window to the outside world. But while website algorithms purport to offer up a viewing docket based on what you’ve already watched, they’re no replacement for a thoughtful human being eager to make selections and offer a recommendation.
Enter the Henderson County Public Library, where librarians have assembled 50 specialized “Binge Boxes” packed with DVDs of classic films and TV shows for patrons to check out.
“We had a large DVD library thanks to community donations,” says Lisa Donaldson, Henderson County Library’s assistant director and marketing librarian. “Many of our patrons were checking out stacks of movies and television shows at the same time to complete a series. We thought: ‘Why not put them all together?’”
What originally began as a way of collecting film series or television seasons grew into a more creative undertaking as binge boxes were assembled around particular genres and themes, for example “Fashionable Films” or “African American Academy Award Winners.”
“Currently most of the 50 Binge Box collections are geared toward adults,” says Donaldson, “but we may be adding more titles in the near future.”
Patrons may check out binge boxes for a one-week period, allowing plenty of time for watching. “Binge Boxes are housed at the Main Branch location of the Henderson County Library,” says Sarah Donaldson, AV and programming librarian. “However, library card holders can place a hold and request pickup at other locations.”
Since launching last September, the Binge Box program has rewarded local movie and TV buffs with an easy way to enjoy their favorite media, tailored to their interests. These days, with a large number of library patrons still cautiously sticking close to home in the wake of the pandemic, the binge boxes have become a bit more than just a popular diversion — they’re edging toward essential.
Fifty themed Binge Boxes are available for curbside pickup at all Henderson County Public Library branches except for Mills River and Green River libraries, which are still closed until further notice. For more information, visit www.hendersoncountync.gov/library, or call 828-697-4725