Re: budgeting media

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Mon, 2 Apr 2001 12:18:10 -0700 (PDT)

--=====================_14310641==_.ALT
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

I think I've been misconstrued. What I meant to express in these comments
(and apparently failed) was the fact that a) no matter how diligent the
subject selector, it has been my experience that video seldom receives the
same kind attention that books do b) the video "publication" universe (i.e.
the non-theatrical universe) is so odd and incoherent that keeping up with
what's out there demands specific attention and expertise...it's a
full-time job, in other words. One could make the case that the smaller
the budget, the more this expertise is demanded.

Identifying single "interesting and useful" titles is one thing; building
an effective collection with long-term utility for the broad range of
teaching and research needs is another thing altogether.

And, yes, I would certainly expect a French literature selector to be savvy
enough to buy French cinema. And, no, this is certainly not always the
case in my experience.

Gary

At 11:50 AM 04/02/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>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
>>

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld

--=====================_14310641==_.ALT
Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

I think I've been misconstrued.  What I meant to express in these comments (and apparently failed) was the fact that a) no matter how diligent the subject selector, it has been my experience that video seldom receives the same kind attention that books do b) the video "publication" universe (i.e. the non-theatrical universe) is so odd and incoherent that keeping up  with what's out there demands specific attention and expertise...it's a full-time job, in other words.  One could make the case that the smaller the budget, the more this expertise is demanded.

Identifying single "interesting and useful" titles is one thing; building an effective collection with long-term utility for the broad range of teaching and research needs is another thing altogether.

And, yes, I would certainly expect a French literature selector to be savvy enough to buy French cinema.  And, no, this is certainly not always the case in my experience.

Gary



At 11:50 AM 04/02/2001 -0700, you wrote:

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


Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu

"You are looking into the mind of home video.  It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld

--=====================_14310641==_.ALT--