In our neighborhood:PPL movie collection


How often do you go to a theater to see movies these days? Probably less than you did a few years ago. How many TV series do you watch episode-by-episode when they air “live?” We’re finding and consuming our film and broadcast entertainment in our own homes, or wherever we choose, at random and convenient times. Want to add to your mix of viewing options? Find out a bit more about the Princeton Public Library’s collection of over 14,000 feature films, TV series, world cinema movies, documentaries and kids’ movies. We have selected the best, most entertaining, thought provoking collection for your borrowing and viewing pleasure.

Sample our recent purchases. On the first floor, we have an amazing assortment  of over 11,500 DVDs and Blu-Rays encompassing feature movies, world cinema films, TV shows and documentaries. Up on the third floor in Youth Services, you’ll find about 3,000 movies selected by our staff for both learning and entertainment for audiences from preschoolers and students to parents. 

Maybe you’ve wondered…

  • How do you decide how many copies of a title to purchase?

Most DVDs purchased are single copy. Popular feature films vary from two to five copies, with two to three copies of popular Indie films and four to five copies of popular box office hits.

  • Are there specific criteria for purchasing multiple copies?
  1. box office success,
  2. word of mouth & pop culture sites,
  3. favorable critical reviews for movies that did not have huge numbers in the box office still warrant at least a couple of copies in our collection. Conversely, expensive studio films that received mostly negative reviews will only warrant a couple of copies instead of four.
  • What is the hold ratio you work with in determining when to add additional copies of “reservable” DVDs to the collection?

In the Adult DVD collection, this almost exclusively refers to television series. Due to the high cost of purchasing and replacing TV series, we work with a hold ratio of 6:1 (on first disc of the season).

  • What percentage of your budget is spent on each classification: feature film/ television series /documentary /world cinema?

Approximately 40% feature films, 25% television, 15% documentary, 10% world cinema, plus 10% replacement costs.

  • What percentage of customer purchase requests are feature film/ television series/ documentary/ world cinema?

Requested additions to the collection run about 20% feature films, 50% television, 20% documentary, and 10% world cinema.

A snapshot of the collection’s checkouts shows summer activity.

We're adding new films and TV series to the collection every week, so visit or check online often. Documentaries and TV series can also be reserved from our catalog for pickup at your convenience.

Photo credit: ondrej.lipar on FLICKR


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