video selection policy
Fri, 30 Jun 2000 10:19:17 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Ellen,

You should be mad. I won't debate the pros and cons of various awards and
game shows (the AFI, etc.) but the library hired you as a media expert -- as
a person who can evaluate the best films not only in terms of cinematic
criteria, but also in terms of what the community NEEDS. I would expect a
county like I live in -- with a strong community of highly educated Asians
would be completely disenfranchised since few Asian films have won the
appropriate awards. I'm sorry I've never been to your library, but Port
Washington was (and hopefully will remain to be) the perfect example of a
brilliant collection of videos that tried to keep a balance of popular and
"high-brow" tastes while remaining to support the ethnic diversity of the
town. The intelligence and care of the librarians (Lillian, Vivienne and
Jonathan) made this possible.

If the library only wants "award-winning" films, then your community will
turn to Blockbuster instead since they can fulfill this need in a better
fashion than any library can. If he wants a library collection that
stimulates, educates and excites the community, than it's best left to people
who can evaluate the titles for the needs of the people who live there. I
strongly believe that anybody wanting to attract people to their services
(museum, library, movie theater) must know the community and support their
needs -- while helping to continue to raise their awareness of cultures and
ideas from around the world. "Award-winning" films is not the only criteria
nor should it ever be.

(Having said that, I hope that more media people around the country continue
to stay educated on recent films from all over and keep working to improve --
it's become too cheap and easy to acquire but harder to make intelligent
choices. This, of course, is preaching to the already converted and I
apologize, but Jessica and I can tell you stories...)

I hope you can find the proper sources for articles!

Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640-0128
Phone: (201) 767-3117 or (800) 603-1104
Fax: (201) 767-3035