Darryl Wiggers (
Tue, 27 Jun 2000 12:03:26 -0700 (PDT)

> I do think it might be prudent to
> consider replacing older, lower circ items that are damaged with DVD
> versions, however.

Why? We're not talking about someone's home theatre, but a collection that
needs to be available to as many people as possible. If the library can
afford to buy both formats, that's ideal. If it's a university, where film
is taught, DVD is definitely advisable. But the original query made it clear
that the library could only buy one format -- and the format of choice was
deemed to be DVD (anyone who can afford to go to university can probably
afford DVD). But I'm assuming the library is a "public" library collection
that needs to be available to as many people as possible. It's not a
question of which format is better. If people are THAT hung-up on pristine
picture quality, and supplemental content, audio commentaries, etc. -- they
can probably afford to rent or buy. They don't need libraries.

For example, I personally think Macs are the greatest computers in the world
[Just an opinion. No need to start sharpening your knives]. But if Macs
starting going the way of DVDs, and I was in charge of a public library, I
still wouldn't contemplate replacing library PCs and programs with them. In
my own home, Macs rule. In a library, the majority should rule...
Eliminating options, and forcing people to add another format (people will
still hang onto their VCRs for recording), shouldn't be a solution. Sorry. I
guess it's a democratic ethnic I was raised with.

And how does one know that DVDs won't damage more quickly than VHS (people
tend to treat library items far more recklessly than something they paid
$20-40 to buy)? We already have one confirmation about chipped and scratched
DVDs being returned (odd for such a new product). Whereas I've dropped and
(accidently) stepped on my videotapes a thousand times and they still play
fine. Chewed-up "used" tapes are also rare since they came out with
better-quality VCRs.

Until DVD "players" become "recorders" and eventually phase out the
necessity of the VCR -- perhaps the consumer recorders will be ready when
HD-DVD comes available? -- we have to assume no-one's gonna throw out their
VCR for awhile yet.