Re: CDL Film Core List

Lori Stevens (
Thu, 2 Aug 2001 09:14:32 -0700 (PDT)

Ok, ok, I know the letter wasn't meant for the list but I am naturally curious and read it anyway. I am awfully glad you posted it however, as it had some great information for me. I am also building an academic library collection from scratch. Could I also get a copy of your 5000-8000 title list? These kinds things are helpful for me to secure funding when I can say these are the core titles recommended by my peers. Which really means, I guess, if you don't want to have a media collection that looks stupid, fund this request. Please.

I am sure others are interested as well.

Lori Stevens
Media Librarian
Utah Valley State College Library
Orem, Utah 84058

Buffy: "See, this is a school. And we have students
and they check out books. And then they learn things."

(Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1997)

>>> 08/02/01 09:56AM >>>
To :

I'm responding to the videolistserv regarding this question because my
personal e-mail to this individual cannot be sent - hopefully they will see
it and get the message. JCS.

Hi, My name is Jim Scholtz. I'm a member of VRT (past chair), a
contributor to the Video list serv, a Booklist video reviewer and a writer
of video collection development/technology books for libraries (ABC-Clio,
Greenwood Press, ALA, and Libraries Unlimited). I'm responding to your
posted query about a core list of videos for academic libraries.

You ask if there is a list of core titles. My initial response is "yes,"
there are lots of core lists and I'll give you a bibliography at the end of
my response but the response also poses a couple of questions to you in
terms of collection development. You should first assess why you're
collecting these titles, what purpose do they have, what curriculum are
they supporting, do they all (or a majority) need to have public
performance rights (meaning you are using them for extra-curricular
activities rather than face-to-face teaching)? Also, do you have any
critieria for collecting what you're collecting - meaning an emphasis on a
particular director, genre (like Italian foreign films vs. westerns),
production dates (all best films of the 60's) or performers?
Do you have any limitations in terms of format (all VHS or all DVD?) or
numbers of titles that you want to collect? Do you have any space
limitations, budget limitationsor time frames in which you want to collect
all of these titles? A list is great because you can use it to allocate
budgetary resources, use it as a checklist, use it for displays/exhibits,
and, best of all, a list gives the selector a feeling of accomplishment
when certain purchasiang goals have been reached (say all of the films
beginning with B' have been acquired. That said - here's the bibliography
- (I know that Facets has already e-mailed you.

keep in mind that every list will include different titles - highly personal

Halliwell's Film Guide (4 and 5 star items)
Motion Picture Guide (4-5 star items)
Video for Libraries (Mason and Scholtz) - James Limbacher provides a list
of the best feature titles (about 500) in the front.

All academy award titles (do you want to collect only best picture, or best
actor/actress, supporting actress, other awards?) - list from Facet's
catalog, almanacs, Motion Picture almanac, etc.

National Film Registry titles (LC picks up to 25 films per year since 1989
for inclusion) - see Facets special catalog.

Video Movies: A core collection for Libraries. (ABC-Clio OP) Randy Pitman &
Elliott Swanson - lists 500 best movies.

Video Movies. Maltin (4 and 5 star titles)

for genres (but must be picky because they list some 'dogs'):

Seen that, Now What? (Fireside, 1996) Andrea Shaw
Book of Video Lists (Madison, 1993) Tom Weiner - lists about 5000+ titles.
Reel List (Delta, 1995) 2000+ titles
Film Buff's Checklist (1972-1979)

I'm working on a new feature film core list for libraries that will have
about 5000-8000 titles in it - it will be part of Libraries Unlimited
series "Genreflecting..." I almost have the alphabetical title list done
and will send it to you as a Word attachment if you'd like to consider that
as a list. It is a checklist of 4 and 5 star titles culled from all the
books mentioned above, plus some other not mentioned. Let me know. Hope
this information is helpful.

I"d suggest that you also contact Gary Handman, (current chair of VRT) film
librarian at Moffitt Library, UC Berkeley for other information on film
collecting in an academic library. He'll be able to give you some great
advice and additional resources. (

Jim Scholtz
Yankton Community Library
Yankton, SD 57078
(605) 668-5276