RE: DVDs

rherbert@lib.usf.edu
Tue, 27 Jun 2000 09:56:50 -0700 (PDT)

Our department is purchasing DVDs regularly, but also purchasing more VHS
than ever. The DVD titles we do have circulate repeatedly, and faculty use
them in class, place them on reserve, etc. Equipment availability is still
an issue throughout the campus and in patrons' homes, and many requestors
still specify VHS. I'm finding DVD to be priced very equally (sometimes
even less) than VHS, but the titles available do not cover all the needs of
our University community. One thing we are finding is that DVDs do not
circulate well. Ours have already come back scratched, chipped, and needing
new cases. It's too early to tell if we are actually going to have to
replace DVDs more than VHS (plenty of problems there with multiple users as
you all know), but it's definitely something to think about...and one more
thing to problem-solve on.

Rue Herbert
Library Media Center
University of South Florida, Tampa

-----Original Message-----
From: Darryl Wiggers [mailto:Darryl.Wiggers@AllianceAtlantis.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 11:56 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: RE: DVDs

In a few years that Library Director will likely be saying the same about
HD-DVD... and a few years after that, whatever the next format is.

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?

-----Original Message-----
From: maureen [mailto:ECL_MAT@FLO.ORG]
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 10:45 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: DVDs

Are any Audiovisual Librarians changing their collection development
policies
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
cons
would be much appreciated. Thanks--Maureen, ecl_mat@flo.org