Re: budgeting media

Roberta Astroff (r4a@psulias.psu.edu)
Mon, 2 Apr 2001 11:50:14 -0700 (PDT)

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At 08:45 AM 4/2/01 -0700, Gary Handman wrote:

>While I think subject selectors are capable of periodically (and sometimes
>randomly) identifying interesting and useful materials, real video
>collection development demands more intense and comprehensive
>oversight--i.e. a media librarian.
>The other common mode of selecting--in response to faculty request or
>course reserve needs--is also problematic, if it's the primary mode of
>selection used. The latter almost always results in a crazy-quilt, "just
>in time" collection which may or may not have long term utility for
>research and teaching.

Wow. While there is certainly a great deal to know about preserving and
purchasing videos -- which I do not know and for which I rely on our Media
Technology Support Services folks and on our Acquisitions department -- I
am a bit taken aback at the assumption that subject specialists can't
identify interesting and useful materials. I am a foreign languages and
literatures librarian who currently has about 5 faculty members in lit
departments teaching film courses. This has led to the discovery that we
have huge holes in our collections of, for example, French film, which I am
now trying to fill. In fact, we do have at the moment that crazy-quilt,
just-in-time collection Gary mentions. But I think that may be because
earlier subject specialists didn't consider film collection part of their
bailiwick. We have a bit of a patchwork system for acquiring videos here
at Penn State, I think, and now, anyway, the subject specialists are doing
a lot of video selection. (I don't know if it has always been the subject
specialists who selected in video.) I would like to know why Gary assumes
the "subject specialists" can't identify interesting and useful videos. I
assume he means, for example, literature subject specialists as opposed to
film studies subject specialists or media studies subject specialists. But
I would be pretty surprised to find that French subject specialists were
unable to build a coherent French film studies collection.

Roberta
Penn State Arts and Humanities Library

>Jeff:
>
>At UCB there's a central media budget (which I control as head of the
>Media Center)--98 percent of all video acquisitions come out of this pot;
>I'm the sole selector. Occasionally, subject selectors buy stuff on their
>nickel (some of these, such as the selectors in Environmental Design and
>our South/Southeast Asia Library have been increasingly vigorous about
>buying stuff on their funds). The materials ultimately reside in
>MRC. The problem with allocating the responsibility for selecting media
>to subject folk (as I have contended ad nauseum) is one of oversight and
>ownership: I believe strongly that selecting video effectively requires
>both an understanding of the medium and a deep familiarity with the
>marketplace. While I think subject selectors are capable of periodically
>(and sometimes randomly) identifying interesting and useful materials,
>real video collection development demands more intense and comprehensive
>oversight--i.e. a media librarian.
>The other common mode of selecting--in response to faculty request or
>course reserve needs--is also problematic, if it's the primary mode of
>selection used. The latter almost always results in a crazy-quilt, "just
>in time" collection which may or may not have long term utility for
>research and teaching.
>
>Gary Handman
>
>

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At 08:45 AM 4/2/01 -0700, Gary Handman wrote:

While I think subject selectors are capable of periodically (and sometimes randomly) identifying interesting and useful materials, real video collection development demands more intense and comprehensive oversight--i.e. a media librarian.
The other common mode of selecting--in response to faculty request or course reserve needs--is also problematic, if it's the primary mode of selection used.  The latter almost always results in a crazy-quilt, "just in time" collection which may or may not have long term utility for research and teaching.


Wow.  While there is certainly a great deal to know about preserving and purchasing videos -- which I do not know and for which I rely on our Media Technology Support Services folks and on our Acquisitions department -- I am a bit taken aback at the assumption that subject specialists can't identify interesting and useful materials.  I am a foreign languages and literatures librarian who currently has about 5 faculty members in lit departments teaching film courses.  This has led to the discovery that we have huge holes in our collections of, for example, French film, which I am now trying to fill. In fact, we do have at the moment that crazy-quilt, just-in-time collection Gary mentions.  But I think that may be because earlier subject specialists didn't consider film collection part of their bailiwick.   We have a bit of a patchwork system for acquiring videos here at Penn State, I think, and now, anyway, the subject specialists are doing a lot of video selection.  (I don't know if it has always been the subject specialists who selected in video.)  I would like to know why Gary assumes the "subject specialists" can't identify interesting and useful videos.  I assume he means, for example, literature subject specialists as opposed to film studies subject specialists or media studies subject specialists.  But I would be pretty surprised to find that French subject specialists were unable to build a coherent French film studies collection.

Roberta
Penn State Arts and Humanities Library






Jeff:

At UCB there's a central media budget (which I control as head of the Media Center)--98 percent of all video acquisitions come out of this pot; I'm the sole selector.  Occasionally, subject selectors buy stuff on their nickel (some of these, such as the selectors in Environmental Design and our South/Southeast Asia Library have been increasingly vigorous about buying stuff on their funds).  The materials ultimately reside in MRC.   The problem with allocating the responsibility for selecting media to subject folk (as I have contended ad nauseum) is one of oversight and ownership:  I believe strongly that selecting video effectively requires both an understanding of the medium and a deep familiarity with the marketplace.  While I think subject selectors are capable of periodically (and sometimes randomly) identifying interesting and useful materials, real video collection development demands more intense and comprehensive oversight--i.e. a media librarian.
The other common mode of selecting--in response to faculty request or course reserve needs--is also problematic, if it's the primary mode of selection used.  The latter almost always results in a crazy-quilt, "just in time" collection which may or may not have long term utility for research and teaching.

Gary Handman


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