First the black napkins. While dining out at one of the fancier restaurants in Columbus, I noticed that they supply black napkins for customers with dark outfits on. One occasionally hears about 'white glove' service, although I suppose the phrase is getting dated since no one wears white gloves anymore. I'm assuming that the black napkins are to avoid getting visible lint on the customer's clothes.
NetFlixs. I'm sure most people are familiar with how NetFlix operates. For a subscription ($10 to $18) you are entitled to have 1 to 3 DVDs. You keep them as long as you want, but if you want to get a new movie, you need to mail in one of them in a prepaid mailer. Since they are DVDs, standard first-class postage is all that is needed.
Certainly there are library services that work in this manner -- the NLS (National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) in the U.S. does. And certainly books are bulkier and harder to mail than DVDs. And yes, OCLC's corporate library sends books to me through inter-office mail, as do many colleges. But, do any public libraries offer this sort of service? And if so, do they have anything like the NetFlix web site that everyone seems to love?
I suppose what brings these topics together in my mind is the level of service they provide. A level of service that libraries have a hard time matching.