Re: Off-Campus Rentals

Jerry Notaro (
Fri, 25 Jan 2002 08:59:58 -0800 (PST)

This is a long standing question in the media world. We here at USF did
some real study and soul searching about this issue a few years back.
Some of the areas of concern were:

1. damage during transport
2. availability and ability to replace titles needed for classroom
3. copyright issues
4. potential for much greater replacement cost and ability to collect
(sticker shock)
5. ability to identify when and where damage to item had occurred
6. media not on shelf when needed for instruction
7. Expense increase for non instruction use

We decided to allow intra library loan for faculty and have had no
problems to speak of. Our courier service knows which packages contain
media and are careful with their transport. I found the following
document very helpful.

Jerry Notaro

Internet Survey on Interlibrary Loan and Video
Kristine Brancolini and Steven Egyhazi

The members of the Video Round Table first discussed
issues related to the interlibrary loan of video recordings at
Midwinter 1994, in Los Angeles. Paula Murphy, representing the
Dance Librarians Discussion Group of the ARCL Art Section,
asked us to explore ways we might help improve access to video
collections held by other libraries. Video recordings are
vitally needed by dance scholars, but dance librarians have
found that few libraries are willing to lend their
video recordings. Our preliminary discussion at Midwinter
revealed that few among us are lending video recordings and we
cited some of the reasons why. However, we agreed to take
steps to make it easier for librarians who want to lend
video recordings to other libraries to do so.

At Midwinter 1995, in Philadelphia, we will be meeting with
other interested librarians from the Public Library Association
and interlibrary loan groups to discuss a draft ALA resolution
on the interlibrary loan of video that Paula Murphy drafted
last fall. In order to gather more information, I conducted a
quick survey on the Internet, asking representatives from
libraries that lend video to share their experiences with us.
We wanted to explore some of the objections that we had heard
raised about the interlibrary loan of video. Have libraries
that lend video recordings experienced the difficulties
anticipated by libraries that do not?

The preliminary results from the survey follow. They
were compiled by Steve Egyhazi, a student in the Indiana
University School of Library and Information Science; he worked
as an intern in my department during the fall semester 1994.
Complete results of the Internet phase of the survey will be
presented in Philadelphia. Any VRT member who did not respond
to the Internet survey is invited to respond now. If you want
to receive an electronic questionnaire form, please send me an
e-mail message: Or you may mail or fax the
survey form in this issue of the VRT News: Kristine Brancolini,
Media and Reserve Services, Main Library W101A, Indiana
University, Bloomington, IN 47405; fax: 812/855-1649. If you
are offering video on interlibrary loan, even with numerous
restrictions, we would like to hear about your experiences.

Preliminary Results

The survey, "Interlibrary Loan and Video," was divided into
two parts. In November 1994 the first part was posted to three
listservs, ILL-L, Media-L, and Videolib. Since ILL-L is
monitored by interlibrary loan personnel, I asked that the
questionnaire be forwarded to a media librarian, if appropriate.
Anyone responding to the first part of the survey was sent the
second, longer questionnaire. Although the first part of the
survey was received entirely electronically, I received
responses to the follow-up questionnaire by fax and by mail as

Twenty-six libraries completed both the short and the
follow-up questionnaire, with the following breakdown by type
of library: 4 public, 17 college/university, 1 school, and 5
special libraries. The median size of video collection was
between 1,000 and 2,000. The median length of time lending
video to other libraries was between 5 and 10 years.

Respondents to the follow-up questionnaire supplied
information about formats collected and lent, restrictions on
the interlibrary lending of video, loan lengths, the volume of
video ILL during the previous year, and problems encountered.
The questionnaire concluded with an open-ended question,
asking respondents to summarize the most serious problems
encountered in the interlibrary lending of video.

Restrictions. Half of the respondents reported that
their library does not restrict ILL to types of libraries or to
particular institutions, but half do. Specific restrictions
mentioned included lending only within a university system,
within the state, to "like" institutions, and within consortia
and networks. A majority of libraries, sixty-one percent, do
not restrict lending to categories of users. Of the thirty-five
percent that reported restrictions, specific restrictions
included "other libraries, not individuals"; other media centers;
health professionals/students; licensed medical practitioners;
faculty only. Public libraries generally did not restrict ILL by
category of user; most were found in academic or special
libraries. This is understandable, as some of the special
libraries' primary purpose to provide interlibrary loan to a
particular category of user. Fifty-four percent did not
restrict ILL by type of use. The eleven percent that did
specified in-house viewing only, non-profit users, no public
performances, and classroom instruction only. Sixty-five
percent restrict lending of particular titles. Specific types of
videos excluded from lending include "expensive" titles; locally-
produced, archival titles; and titles in heavy demand in the
holding library. Others mentioned lending only non-fiction
titles and those that are specifically cleared for lending by
the distributor.

Loan Length. Loan lengths ranged from two days plus
shipping to four weeks. Nineteen percent said it "depends upon
the situation." Excluding the latter group, the media loan
length was two weeks.

Volume of Lending. Most libraries are not lending a large
number of videos. The largest percentage of respondents,
thirty-seven percent, lent fewer than 25 videos during
1993/94. Nineteen percent lent between 26 and 100; twenty-
three percent between 101 and 300; and only four percent (one
library) lent more than 300.

Difficulties Encountered. The good news is that thirty-
one percent reported no difficulties. Thirty-eight percent
reported frequent overdues, thirty-one percent slow
shipments, fifteen percent shipment damage, twelve percent
patron complaints, eight percent user damage, and eight percent
non-returns. The last question allowed respondents to
elaborate on their responses to this question. Many of them
added lengthy comments. Only a sample will be reported here.

"We've never had any damage to our videos--we've only had one
audio tape damaged through ILL in two years." -- Academic

"One of the most frequent complaints is from our users not
being able to borrow AV materials from other institutions. We
loan, but there are few libraries that reciprocate." -- Academic

"We have had to increase the insurance rate for shipping
non print items because the normal rate for books doesn't cover
the replacement cost if the item is lost in shipping." --
Academic library

"I lend videos on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon the
subject, anticipated local demand, and type of library
requesting material. " This library doesn't lend to public
libraries, due to their "lack of coercive power to get their
patrons" and their use of library rate to ship materials. They
require that videos be shipped UPS. -- Academic library

"Often get complaints from faculty members about tapes they
want being out. However, our policy is clear that materials
should be booked in advance. We do not lend tapes that are no
longer available for purchase. We also charge replacement cost
instead of a flat fee, since some videos are very expensive." --
Academic library

"The most serious problem we have is constant requests for
'commercially-available' titles -- ones you could get from a
video rental store. Considering the cost factors for ILL, we
refuse these requests out of hand." -- Academic library

"Only occasional overdues and very occasional shipment
damage." -- Academic library

"My only concern is that we lend all formats but have a hard
time borrowing AV items when we need them. But I believe in
lending all formats and this has not presented any problems." --
Public library.

"The problems we have encountered lending out books, we have
also encountered lending out videos. But this does not mean
any added work or problems." -- Public library

"Not exactly a problem, but little or no reciprocation from
those who borrow from us. As long as we don't hurt our own
patrons, though, we go ahead and loan to them." -- Public library

"Patrons sometimes forget to return our special shipping
cases, and return AV's in regular jiffy bags. We then have to
write or call them to get them back." -- Special library

"The only two problems we have had so far have been: slow mail
service -- unfortunately, we can't do anything about that!
Overdue materials due to patrons' tardiness. Once we get a bill
to the patrons, they usually find the videos right away. (One
patron, after receiving a $5,000 bill for our Deming set, almost
set the envelope on fire he returned it so fast!)" -- Special

"We have been incredibly lucky in that usually a phone call
brings in overdues and we've only experienced user damage a few
times in the five years I have been working with AV's." --
Special library.


The interlibrary loan of video does not appear to present
the serious problems feared by libraries that do not offer
their videos for interlibrary loan. Real problems exist in the
interlibrary lending all materials, but that should not exclude
video from this practice. We do not refuse to lend books for
these reasons. Libraries have found ways to minimize the
difficulties encountered in lending videos. Most of these
libraries are not lending a large number of videos each year,
but many report that they are having trouble borrowing from
other libraries, so that may be a factor. Some libraries
reported that they will not attempt to borrow videos because
so many libraries refuse to lend.

No one wants to lend video recordings if no one will lend to
their users. It is important that we reciprocate. One
suggestion: Start small. Begin lending within your metropolitan
area, to other academic libraries in your state, or to other
school or public libraries within your region. If we work
through problems on a small scale, perhaps we will find that we
can expand our group of borrowing partners. Your users will
benefit. By making the interlibrary loan of video more widely
acceptable, your users will have access to titles that your
library does not own. To serve our users we must be willing to
share video resources with others.

John Beltram wrote:

> Dear Videolibbers,
> Does anyone out there have a specific reason why their college or
> university lends, or does not lend, its media materials to other
> schools?
> At the University of North Texas, we are currently deciding wether to
> allow other academic institutions to borrow from our collection, or to
> continue the practice of lending to only other academic libraries in
> the
> state. We are hesitant to allow wider borrowing privileges since so
> many
> other colleges and universities do not lend their media materials to
> other schools.
> Please share with us the pros and cons-good experiences or bad- that
> your media center has experienced when allowing other institutions to
> borrow from your collection.