Re: interfiling of videos with books

Marilyn Huntley (
Mon, 22 May 2000 10:21:26 -0700 (PDT)

If I'm interpreting the signatures correctly, this question came from a
public library, & the first few replies came from academic libraries.
Although my paid job is in a college library (the entire media collection
here is in a separate building from the library), I also wear several other
hats in my community. I'll give you my 3 non-collegiate viewpoints.

At our small local public library, the collection of videos used to be
shelved all together in one area, but separated into 3 groups - movies,
children's, and non-fiction. About a year ago the non-fiction videos were
moved & intershelved, by their Dewey Decimal numbers, with the non-fiction
books (some in the adult area & some in the juvenile area). This was a
local decision, not a system-wide policy change; I checked today with the
headquarters of our 3-county library system, & they said they believe most
of the 43 member libraries still keep the videos segregated from the books.

As a patron, my personal opinion is that I don't like the change - not one
bit! I find the new arrangement inconvenient, because there's no longer any
easy way to browse for an interesting video. I suspect it has cut down on
the circulation of those videos among impulse-borrowers like me. I did
express my opinion to the library director, & she explained it was done to
relieve crowding in the video section, and that she thought it would help
to bring the videos to the attention of anyone who's seriously interested
in a particular subject. So, she had good reasons.

As a volunteer library clerk, it doesn't make much difference to me where I
have to shelve them, although I sometimes still catch myself heading toward
the video area to put away a non-fiction tape. However, a video shelved in
the wrong position among all those books (yes, it does happen) can be a big
problem to locate. When all the tapes were kept in the video collection,
the search for a misshelved one was considerably easier.

As a member of the library's board of trustees, my policy is to respect &
support the director's judgment in matters of the day-to-day operations of
the library, & to keep my selfish preferences out of it. Whatever works for
her has this trustee's official, if grudging, approval.

So, 3 opinions. Would that be my 6 cents' worth?

Marilyn Huntley

At 09:52 AM 5/20/00 -0700, you wrote:
>There's a move afoot at my library to interfile non-movie videos with the
>book collection. (This is in the main library building of a large suburban
>public system--non-movie video collection numbers about 6,000, book
>collection numbers about 300,000.) I'm interested in knowing if any list
>members are currently doing this, and if so what you see as the advantages
>and disadvantages. Has there been any effect on your circulation and
>turnover rates? Comments from others are welcome as well on both a
>philosophical and practical level. Is video a distinctive enough format to
>deserve a separate place and somewhat special treatment in the library? And
>as a patron, how would you prefer to find the videos in your
>library--shelved separately or interfiled with the books? I have my own
>take on these questions but would like to see what list members think before
>stating my case. Thanks in advance.
>Peter Cartford
>AV Librarian
>Johnson County Library
>Overland Park, KS

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Marilyn B. Huntley, Audiovisual Assistant
Audiovisual Classroom Services
Hamilton College, 198 College Hill Rd., Clinton, NY 13323
Phone 315-859-4120; Fax 315-859-4687