Save Rentertainment's Rare Titles

$4,117 of $3,100 goal

Raised by 78 people in 22 months
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Dena Strong
on behalf of Geoffrey Merritt
 CHAMPAIGN, IL
That's Rentertainment is closing its doors after 30 years in business as the best independent video store in Champaign-Urbana, and possibly the best in the country. Their collection of videos, including international, documentaries, and special audiences, is much more diverse than the offerings on Amazon and Netflix.

After inquiring with the local libraries, the public libraries indicated that they needed to host popular videos in their limited storage space, but that the University Library might be able to preserve and make available the rare resources gathered by Rentertainment over its years in business.

I followed the chain to Thomas Teper, the Associate Dean for Collections and Technical Services at the University library. He said that:

* The University Library could accept these titles as a gift from community contributors following the regular gift channels.

* The Library would be most interested in acquiring titles that the Library doesn't already own and that are not commonly available through other means. (We can accomplish this by comparing Rentertainment's video list to the University Library's video list, Amazon, and Netflix in order to determine which items are most unique.)


My plans are:
(A) Compare Rentertainment's stock to Amazon, Netflix, and the University Library in order to determine which videos are most rare and in need of preservation for the local community's use.

(B) Work with the University library's expert staff and Rentertainment's dedicated owner to rank the resulting list in terms of highest to lowest acquisition priority.

(C) Use the proceeds of the GoFundMe campaign to purchase the identified videos in order of ranking, for the purpose of contributing them to the University Library.

$1000 is an initial target; any funds above that amount will be used to acquire more of the rare finds list.

If we raise enough funds to acquire the titles identified as needed, any extra proceeds will be donated to the University Library to help support gift processing for these materials.

None of the money will go to me directly. It will be sent to Rentertainment to purchase the videos on the preservation group's priority list, with any remaining funds contributed for the collection's intake and maintenance at the library.

That's Rentertainment has been a wonderful community resource for three decades. Let's preserve the rare, unusual, and beautiful parts of their collection for our community's use into the future.
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Update 11
Posted by Dena Strong
18 months ago
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Hi, all! Here's an update on the outcome of the Rentertainment to Library project. All in all, about 3,000 titles came over!

http://www.library.illinois.edu/news/featured/rentertainment.html
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Update 10
Posted by Dena Strong
21 months ago
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Rentertainment's just about to open for the public sale. Geoff and Dr. Cagle and the volunteer crew have already pulled out the several hundred titles we're most interested in preserving, so we know we're getting the top priorities. I don't have the full list of selected titles available right now, especially since an additional $1000 has dramatically the number of titles we can save (yay!) I'll post that info once I have it, but it may be a few days (Geoff is pretty overwhelmed right now).

Y'all are amazing. I don't know how to say thank you enough.
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Update 9
Posted by Dena Strong
21 months ago
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I'm blown away. A private donor who's previously given us $500 came back and gave another $1000 last night, meaning that person is over a third of the campaign. Since the person clicked the anonymity box I don't want to use the name without permission, but thank you so much!
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Update 8
Posted by Dena Strong
21 months ago
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It looks like we're financially settling in around 250 titles, so I readjusted the target to cover those and the GoFundMe fees. Y'all are awesome; this is literally three times what I'd originally guessed we might raise!

Several folks have emailed or messaged me about how non-University people can get access to the videos.

Here's a link to the courtesy card information: http://www.library.illinois.edu/circ/services/courtesycards.html

I think "type LL" is what most non-University community folks would get, and it lists DVDs as being something that folks could rent from the Undergrad Library (along with fines if the rentals are returned late): http://www.library.illinois.edu/circ/policies/borrowers/ll.html

I don't have the complete list of what Geoff's pulled for the Library quite yet, but I do know we touched on several donors' requests:

* Some international titles including Scandinavian TV mysteries, German director Wim Wenders, and more

* Some otherwise unavailable VHS recordings

* Some out of print titles including some Disney rares

* As many local productions as we could identify (shout-out to Ed Glaser here: we found one of yours at Rentertainment! Neither Rentertainment nor the Library have your Press Start series yet, though - maybe we could fix that someday too?)

We did good, everyone. Thanks again.
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Read a Previous Update
Dena Strong
22 months ago
1
1

Make it a tea and I'm good! :-) What were your favorite only-at-Rentertainment movies?

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Jennifer Iversen-Curry
22 months ago

Hey Dena, can I buy you a beer??? - Jenn (former Rentertainment manager)

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$4,117 of $3,100 goal

Raised by 78 people in 22 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Created June 3, 2015
Dena Strong  
on behalf of Geoffrey Merritt
$25
Anonymous
21 months ago
JK
$25
Josh King
21 months ago
$20
Brian Cudiamat
21 months ago
JM
$20
Josh Medin
21 months ago

Woohoo! Let's do this!

$1,000
Anonymous
21 months ago
$30
Anonymous
21 months ago
JK
$50
Jay Kreibich
21 months ago
$25
Anonymous
21 months ago
$30
Jason Pankoke
21 months ago

Go Dena go! True movie fans looking for entertainment or research material will value your efforts.

$50
Aaron Stigberg
21 months ago
Dena Strong
22 months ago
1
1

Make it a tea and I'm good! :-) What were your favorite only-at-Rentertainment movies?

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Jennifer Iversen-Curry
22 months ago

Hey Dena, can I buy you a beer??? - Jenn (former Rentertainment manager)

+ Read More
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