RE: DVD Info

Darryl Wiggers (
Tue, 22 Aug 2000 12:39:46 -0700 (PDT)


Thank you for the perspective. I was also intrigued by San Francisco State
University's practice, as outlined by Brigid Duffy. In that circumstance it
makes a great deal of sense to have both a DVD & laser disc library (a
format which never broke away from the deep-pockets class).

Obviously I was questioning from the perspective of a circulation library.
DVDs are much more likely to be damaged through regular wear-and-tear than
VHS. And I also question an earlier claim that DVDs are "cheaper" than VHS.
I'd like to know the name of that store.

As for Frank's comment:

> A simple example: If we have patrons who are blind and do not use the
> library because they cannot read or see our videos, do make braille and
> recorded books available and market to them, or do we say, they don't use
> the library so don't order anything for them.

Is this suppose to compare with the DVD question? Are you suggesting that
someone with access to a DVD player DOESN'T have VHS? Do you serve the
person who plucks out their own eyes? Or is too stubborn to see any other

Indeed, not an easy question...

By the way, I think the main reason people notice a picture quality
improvement is not so much because of the superiority of the DVD format, but
the inferior quality of their old VHS players. For the last 10 years I've
been using a high-definition monitor in conjunction with a Panasonic AG1960
S-VHS/Hi-Fi editing VCR (though any middle-range VCR is almost as good). I
find a nominal difference between a good-quality VHS tape and DVD. Hence, I
won't be replacing any titles I already have in my library in VHS with DVD.

What worries me about the seduction of this new format is that the day may
come when DVD is the only format available -- and users will be stuck
watching only those titles that have been released on DVD. Granted, I'm
quite pleased to see something like Nashville finally available in
letter-box, and will happily view it on DVD, but there's still a vast number
of titles -- especially non-Hollywood -- that I haven't seen re-released.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kristine R. Brancolini []
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2000 3:02 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: RE: DVD Info

I think one of the issues here is whether or not you circulate videos.
Most academic libraries do not. And even the libraries that do circulate
videos widely (meaning to students as well as to faculty for classroom
use) do so as an auxiliary service, not a primary service. I have never
worried about what people have at home, as I supply the equipment in the
Media Center and in the viewing rooms. As noted previously, we have 1500
laserdiscs and no one ever asked me for one -- until we had several
hundred and people were familiar with them. No one ever borrowed one to
preview at home, but they are very heavily used and preferred by many
users. I agree with Gary that promotion is one of the keys. Chris Lewis
mentioned that many of the DVDs in his collection are duplicate titles.
That's a typical pattern for a new format. Our percentage of DVD
duplicates is about the same. We did the same thing when we introduced
laserdiscs. I think you try to serve everyone. -- Kris

On Tue, 22 Aug 2000, Darryl Wiggers wrote:

> > could, of course, make the case that availability, easy access,
> > fervent publicity) fire demand...not the other way around. I've always
> > been a big fan of building the field of dreams, and then standing by
> > bountiful popcorn and peanuts...
> A few weeks ago it was a announced that sales of DVD players had reached
> 3 million mark.
> That's about the population size of my home city of Toronto -- a
> small fraction of the rest of the continent (let alone the world). So what
> is the rest of the population suppose to do when libraries choose to serve
> the minority instead of the majority?

Kristine R. Brancolini, Media/Film Studies/Digital Library Program
Main Library E170, 1320 E. Tenth Street
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: 812.855.3710 | Fax: 812.856.2062 | Email: