Re: video approval plans?

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Mon, 28 Jan 2002 08:36:48 -0800 (PST)

Videos are not books. There is no national videographic apparatus. The
vast majority of non-fiction (i.e. documentary) works never get
reviewed. There are no core lists. There are no reliable vendor
listings. The universe of available materials is (compared to books, at
least) profoundly constricted. The distribution market is anarchistic and
strange. There are gaping dichotomies between mass marketed and
independently-produced video. The averge price for independently-produced
videos far exceeds the sticker-price of books (even science books); at the
same time, budgets for video in academic library are typically paltry and
pathetic.

What this means in terms of selection: unless you're going to rely (God
help us) solely on faculty recommendation or view your media collection as
an extension of the reserve book room, selection of video materials is a
laborious and horribly time consuming. It means scouring the dim
corners...making connections...staying hipped to the workings of the
filmmaking community. Ain't no way ANY approval dealer is gonna get you
anything but the quick and easy, the popular and obvious.

wrote:
>But this sounds exactly like the relationship between monograph selectors,
>academic life and approval plans for books.
>
>Roberta Astroff
>Penn State
>
>At 11:48 AM 1/26/2002 -0800, you wrote:
> >Re video approval plans.
> >
> >One word: ugggggggggggggggggggggggg!
> >
> >Even if such a beast did exist (and it doesn't, particularly for
> >academic libraries), 20 years in this business
> >tells me that
> >leaving the selection of video up to a third party would be courting
> >certain disaster. It's hard enough for full-time media librarians to pull
> >this off...leaving it up to profit-driven outsiders would be madness.
> >Selection in academic libraries is a matter of weighing curricular and
> >research needs against market availability--that's a trick that requires
> >eternal vigilance, constant participation in the academic life of campus,
> >an intimate knowledge of both mainstream and independent filmmaking, and a
> >close connection to colleagues with similar collections. We ain't talking
> >books here...
> >
> >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
> >
> >On Fri, 25 Jan 2002, Linda Engelberg wrote:
> >
> > > My administrator is asking about video approval plans for
> universities. I
> > > can't imagine that there is such a thing? Tho I believe that
> Professional
> > > Media was offering some kind of a service, but I don't think it was
> at the
> > > University level. Can anyone offer comments or information. thanx and
> > > aloha.
> > >
> > > Linda Engelberg
> > > Video Librarian
> > > Wong Audiovisual Center
> > > Sinclair Library
> > > University of Hawaii
> > > Honolulu, HI 96822
> > > (808) 956-5414
> > > FAX (808) 956-5952
> > > engel@hawaii.edu
> > >
> > >

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