RE: video selection policy

Tatar, Becky (
Sat, 1 Jul 2000 07:07:18 -0700 (PDT)

Sometimes, it is hard to fight management. Ours was very conservative and
was afraid of challenges to the collection. When we first started acquiring
video, we only did feature films. We quickly realized that we probably
could never compete with the retail outlets in speed of acquisition, or
number of copies. So, we looked at our mission statement, and devised our
policy from there. Our collection is mostly educational/informational. We
do collect movies - Oscar winners, National Film Register titles, AFI lists.
We also collect classic films that often aren't available in the retail
stores. Since we have all the Oscar films, I am starting to look on best
lists, other award winners, as well as currently released titles that are
well reviewed. You have to have some criteria, since generally you have a
limit on your budget, and the scope and depth of your collection. I also
know that academic collections have a different purpose than public library
collections. Review sources that the general public sees might not mention
things that libraries would want to consider. Will the local newspaper
reviewer talk about the production values? Sound or picture quality? Do
comparisons to other titles? Importance in the subject? Not always. And
while the book collections do have more than the Newbery, Caldecott, etc.,
neither do they have every book published each year. The question is
basically, what is the mission of your library? How does your video
collection fit into that mission? What type of community are you in? This
all factors into your collection policy. Just my 2 or 3 cents.

Becky Tatar
Unit Head, Periodicals/Audiovisual
Aurora Public Library
1 E. Benton Street
Aurora, IL 60505
Phone: 630/264-4100
FAX: 630/896-3209