Parent's Guide To GRRL Video Collections

Great River Regional Libraries offer a wide variety of Video material on DVD & VHS to meet the needs of library patrons of all ages. GRRL makes this material available with one restriction: material with an MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) R rating cannot be checked out by anyone with a minor card (under 17) or anyone under the age of 17 (minors) on another person's card.

GRRL adds one of three kinds of label information to videos:

  • A spine label with a Dewey Decimal number, which tells you the subject area of the film. For example, Video 636.708 would indicate a videotape about dog training. This allows you to find video material on a topic as you would find books. A “J” in front of the number tells you it is a “Juvenile” or children’s treatment of the topic.
  • A genre label that tells you the fictional category of an entertainment film. For example, Humor is a label used to indicate a broad range of comedy films.
  • A Children’s Film label for movies that primarily appeal to library patrons under the age of 12. For example, Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer.

MPAA ratings are a voluntary, USA-based system that is not applied to all video material at GRRL. Many films made in other countries or films released directly to home video do not have a rating available; television shows are also generally not rated. If a rating is available, that rating will be visible on the GRRL catalog entry for each title. In some cases, it may be noted on the catalog that the film is unrated. For information about the MPAA rating system, try this site:

Parents may choose to help with their children’s video selection when they visit the library together. Library staff are not able to limit what a child checks out on their library card, with the exception of R-Rated items. Library staff cannot add messages to your child’s record giving permissions or limiting access.

Here are actions you can take if you are concerned about your children's viewing:

  • Come to the library with your child whenever possible! There are wonderful things for parents at the library, including magazines, music CDs, programs and events.
  • Ask your child to tell you what they checked out of the library if you are not able to be with them, or check their account online at
  • Read packaging information carefully for content and appropriateness for your child. Note ratings or lack of them as well as GRRL label information.
  • If in doubt, check reviews. Many are available on the Internet and give very specific information that will help you decide. Ask your librarian for access to the Internet if you do not have access at home.
  • Helpful websites:
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