Re: DVD selecting

R. Hertzler (
Fri, 24 Mar 2000 13:07:55 -0800 (PST)


To make sure we don't limit access for our users by *only* purchasing
something in DVD format, we *always* dupe in VHS. The one exception, and
it's not really an exception, is when I find (frequently for very recent
films) that the DVD runs around $20 while the VHS version is still in the
$100 range; in these cases I'll still buy the DVD but wait for the VHS
price to drop (example: Eyes Wide Shut).

On the other hand, we don't necessarily try to dupe in DVD for everything
we get in VHS. I won't go into the convoluted criteria I use myself, but
it's a sort of blend of anticipated nature and frequency of use,
historical use, discipline(s) being supported, price, "canonical" nature
of the work, etc. I figure as long as we have *some* version that most
everyone can watch, we can always go back and do some retrospective
hole-filling if/when DVD becomes ubiquitous.

It's not an exact science, but it seems to be working so far . . .

Randy Hertzler
Reference Librarian
Media Services Coordinator
Odegaard Undergraduate Library
University of Washington Libraries

On Fri, 24 Mar 2000, Michael Boedicker wrote:

> Our (medium-sized public) library is planning to add DVDs to the collection
> this year. I'm wondering if I should only buy titles we don't own on tape,
> or allow for some duplication (and if so, how much?). Our video collection
> is small (about 900 features and 1100 nonfiction videos), and so for
> economic and space reasons I want to minimize duplication. Also, it's
> probably safe to say that 99% of patrons who own DVD players still have
> their VCRs and could borrow the VHS (though the tape will lack the bells and
> whistles of the disc).
> On the other hand, I can see patrons who don't own DVD players (the vast
> majority of our users) gritting their teeth if certain titles are only
> available in DVD.
> I'm doing a 2-week survey right now to determine how many of our patrons own
> DVD players or are planning on buying one in the next year. But the results
> still won't answer the above questions. How have other list members
> addressed these problems?
> Mike
> Mike Boedicker
> AV Director, Danville Public Library
> 319 N. Vermilion
> Danville, IL 61832
> (217) 477-5223 ext. 123