Meanwhile the end-users have to have the machines to play them on. Even at a
few hundred dollars, it's still a hefty sum to those on a tight budget. And,
yes, many new computers come with DVD... but not everyone needs, wants or
can afford a new computer -- or wants to view movies on their monitor (there
are still millions who have a TV, VCR but not even a Commodore 64 in sight).
Suddenly the library is divided between serving the "haves" and the "have
nots" -- which defeats the purpose of most public libraries.
Plus, most DVD users are new users who are buying titles (more so than they
did with VHS) for their personal library. They handle the discs like
plutonium, for fear of scratching them. Are people going to be that careful
with a disc from a library? I know I wouldn't want to be the librarian who
has to check each disc when it's returned.
Money should also be a factor with libraries (isn't it?) -- and DVDs are
still more expensive than VHS. If you can't afford both, why buy the more
expensive format, with the more limiting audience, that is not always
superior in quality (there are a number of crappy transfers out there
because of the rush to put out more titles), susceptible to damage, and may
not survive the HD-DVD revolution?
It would be wiser to wait. VHS still has a reasonably good shelf life (I
still have playable tapes from 1982) and, as DVD gains in popularity, the
prices of VHS should continue to drop... the problem is that people tend to
fall in love too passionately with new technology, and they lose their
objectivity. And there are those DVD-lusters who think the whole world
should switch to DVD and, by God, if they can force their hand they will.
I'll bet my next paycheque that your Director has DVD at home. Am I right?
From: maureen [mailto:ECL_MAT@FLO.ORG]
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 10:45 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Are any Audiovisual Librarians changing their collection development
to purchase only (or primarily) DVDs? Anyone have thoughts on the wisdom of
such a policy? My Library Director is urging us to buy DVD, and only DVD,
unless a title is not available in this format. Feedback on the pros and
would be much appreciated. Thanks--Maureen, email@example.com