RE: video approval plans?

Oksana Dykyj (
Mon, 28 Jan 2002 11:51:16 -0800 (PST)

Just to add my 2 Canadian pesos' worth... As professionals and specialists
in our fields, it is our responsibility to be in tune with what's going on
in the areas we tend to buy, as Gary mentioned earlier, and it requires
stamina to be sure. It also requires self-assurance as the professionals we
are. It is a balancing act to predict what will be essential and also
provide requested items. It's also not always possible to accommodate
previews, particularly in Canada where sometimes there are costs involved
(the government often wants to charge tax on the value of the item coming
in, even though it is not a purchase) and vendors/distributors
understandably don't want to bother with all the paperwork required in
shipping a preview up to Canada. This is were our experience and contacts
come in. This is also where our diplomacy comes in. I have seen vehemently
requested videos not used for a variety of reasons, among them that the
level was too elementary for University courses or that the expected topic
was not covered as anticipated. (No I told you sos permitted). On the other
hand, I'm sure we've all experienced the surprised expression on a number
of faculty members' faces when they"discover" a must-have title already in
the collection: they claim they knew nothing about it, even though they
clearly received notification about its acquisition.

How many of us acquiesced to the demands of Film Studies instructors who
requested titles that were not available letterboxed but only panned and
scanned yet insisted they be bought anyway only to complain about how bad
the film looked and immediately requested to have the letterboxed version
placed on a want list for when it became available. (Some possible I told
you sos permitted depending on whether you're tenured or not).

In summary, requested items are not always used and non-requested items are
discovered with glee when appropriate. It's a very imperfect world but we
love it.


At 10:23 AM 1/28/02 -0800, you wrote:
>The following article, several years old, offers an interesting perspective
>on video collection development.
>Patricia Hornbeck
>Middlebury College
>Sunderland Language Center
>Middlebury, VT 05753
>(802)443-2268 phone
>(802)443-2075 fax
> by Kim Lloyd
>The writing of media collection development policy, specifically a videotape
>policy, requires some considerations beyond the written policies for book
>selection. In fact, collection development policies for print material may
>not even be models that are relevant to videos. The reasons for this have to
>do with how the video item is used by patrons, cost per title, and
>technological considerations. These issues have been addressed succinctly by
>Hardy and Sessions who say, "Due to the fragility, technical complexity, and
>relatively high cost of nonprint media, additional care is needed in the
>selection process"(Hardy 1985, 83). Patrons, specifically instructors in an
>academic library, often take a video into the classroom as the method of
>delivering instruction for that class session. Other than textbooks, books
>in the library collection often lend support to the curriculum, but are not
>the sole focus of instruction. Who would be more likely than the teaching
>faculty to know which videos should be in the collection for this
>instructional purpose? Since instructional video title prices can vary
>widely, from $19.95 to over $400.00 per title, guessing at selection can
>result in costly mistakes. Since videos could be obsolete in a few years due
>to rapidly changing technology, it would seem to be more important to buy
>videos that can be assured of some immediate use. A use study of materials
>acquired in the Illinois State University Library Media Resource Center
>seemed to be the best method of determining how collection development
>should proceed and a way to write a policy that truly reflects selection
>Since 1985, the library literature has been filled with articles on how best
>to develop a video collection. Questions about which vendors to use,
>bibliographical organization, equipment management, loan periods, copyright
>considerations, and assessing user's needs appear along with advice from
>public, academic, school and special librarians. Perhaps no single issue
>though has received more attention than how to systematicallyperform
>collection development. Should videos be collected from a traditional
>process (e.g., writing a policy, reading reviews, examining the book itself)
>or should the purchase be more demand driven (let the user decide the makeup
>of the collection)? "Perhaps the most important aspect of building a serious
>video collection is the development of a written video collection
>development policy, which should be part of the overall library collection
>development policy" (Mason 1992, 32). Looking at the SPEC Kit on
>"Audiovisual Policies in ARL Libraries" is helpful because it identifies
>issues common to representative academic video collections: collecting films
>that support curriculum and instruction, making guidelines for the purchase
>of popular or current films, and the consideration of price or funding
>available. The similarities cease when policies outline who has
>responsibility for selection and the steps involved before an item is
>purchased. For example, UC Berkeley and Stanford take purchase
>recommendations from teaching faculty, but final selection rests with the
>media selector. The University of Hawaii and Indiana University attempt to
>purchase all faculty requests. Reading reviews is a regular step before
>purchase at Northwestern, and previewing is mentioned only in The University
>of Hawaii policy.
>Commentary on the critical issue of librarian versus faculty members as
>selectors is divided in the literature. Proponents for library personnel as
>selectors suggest that a committee of media librarian and subject
>specialists should make purchase decisions (Ellison 1987, 370) and that
>purchasing only by "transitory user demand" runs the risk of developing a
>collection that is not well planned and that "can contribute to the notion
>of the library media collection as an arcade"(Whichard 1985, 38). Reasoning
>that the faculty have a strong role in media selection, Hardy offers that
>"using a particular nonprint item may be an integral part of a course.
>Therefore the teaching faculty tend to be more directly involved in
>selecting nonprint materials than print materials"(Hardy 1985, 83). This
>idea is backed by a published survey of academic librarians that reported
>that "nearly all acquisitions are done by faculty order or request; few come
>from staff or students"(Havens 1987, 34).
>Media selection at Illinois State University has traditionally been a
>competitive process where faculty members in each department are sent
>letters twice a year inviting suggestions for purchase. Requests are
>submitted with justifications that provide potential number of faculty and
>student users, particular classes for which the item might be appropriate
>and ordering information. A committee of librarians then considers the
>requests and makes purchase decisions. Videos are also added to the
>collection with some discretionary funds of the media selector, and by
>subject librarians who have the capability of purchasing media from their
>allotted book funds. Money is also earmarked for rental of titles as an
>added service for faculty when a title is not in the collection and is not
>available through an interlibrary loan transaction. A random sample of fifty
>videos acquired in the Illinois State University Media Resource Center in
>the spring of 1992 were tracked for use. Half of the videos were requested
>by teaching faculty members and the other half selected by librarians
>without a specific use for the video. A Macintosh software booking program
>(Alexandria) keeps track of the number of charges for a particular video.
>The dates of use for this study were August 1992 through April 1994. The
>videos not requested by teaching faculty were publicized so that known items
>would not have an advantage in use, other than a faculty members'
>predisposition to a familiar title. Publicity included a newsletter from the
>Media Resource Center with new title listings, a print catalog of all video
>titles sent to departmental offices which included lists of videos by
>subject, access through the library online public access catalog, and
>personal recommendations by the media selector.
>In the booking program during the described time frame, the average number
>of uses was taken for the twenty-five requested videos and twenty-five
>selected videos. The average number of uses for teaching faculty requested
>videos was 4.08 and the average number of librarian selected titles was
>2.03. Requested video titles are twice as likely to circulate as
>non-requested titles. The video most often circulated was requested by a
>faculty member and used thirteen times in the nineteen month evaluation
>period. Three of the requested titles and seven of the selected titles were
>not used at all.
>Because the videos selected for purchase by teaching faculty receive twice
>the use of titles selected by librarians, Illinois State University will
>continue to encourage faculty input into the development of the Media
>Resource Center collection. The collecting will be driven by videos that
>have direct instructional applications and while the committee will try to
>fairly disperse the funds across academic departments, traditional attempts
>to balance the collection will not be made. Considering the limited
>shelflife of media materials and changing technologies, videos that will be
>useful in the classroom today are much more valuable to the library and its'
>users than a "balanced" collection that remains on the shelf in the Media
>Center. Collection development in an area like media that encompasses all
>disciplines and has both popular and instructional applications can be
>challenging especially when limited funds, equipment maintenance and
>obsolescence are also factors. Each type of library must decide what the
>best video collection for its patrons, and gathering as much input as
>possible, whether through the printed literature or from patrons themselves
>is the most efficient way to provide a used, useful collection.
>1. Brancolini, Kristine, comp. 1991. Audiovisual policies in college
>libraries. CLIP note no. 14. Chicago: Association of College and Research
>2. Ellison, John W. 1985. "Non-print selection: a combination of methods."
>In Media Librarianship. New York: Neil-Schuman Publishers.
>3. Fothergill, Richard and Ian Butchart. 1990. Non-book materials in
>libraries: a practical guide. 3d ed. London: Clive Bingley.
>4. Hardy, Carol L. and Judith A. Sessions. 1985. "Integrated media
>operations in an academic library: a profile." Library Trends 34,
>5. Havens, Shirley E., GraceAnne A. DeCandido, and Bette-Lee Fox. 1987.
>"Audio- and videocassettes: patron demand=library response." Library Journal
>112 (November 15):33-35.
>6. Mason, Sally. 1992. "Creating a successful library video service."
>Library Journal 117 (November 15):32-35.
>7. Raimo, John. 1985. "Financing the academic media center." Library
>Trends 34, no.1:27-36.
>8. Schabert, Daniel R. 1987. "Videotapes." In Nonbook media: collection
>management and user services. Chicago: American Library Association.
>9. Scholtz, James. 1993. "A conversation with Sally Mason." Wilson Library
>Bulletin 67 (June):41-43.
>10. Scholtz, James C. 1991. Video policies and procedures for libraries.
>Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
>11. Slyhoff, Merle. 1993. "The video librarian's hide and seek: videotapes
>and collection development." Wilson Library Bulletin 67(June):36-38.
>12. Systems and Procedures Exchange Center. 1990. Audiovisual policies in
>ARL libraries. SPEC Kit no. 162. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research
>Libraries, Office of Management Services.
>13. Whichard, Mitchell. 1985. "Collection development and nonprint
>materials in academic libraries." Library Trends 34, no. 1:37-53.
>To: Illinois State University Faculty
>From: Kim Lloyd, Manager, Media Resource Center, Milner Library
>Re: Requests for Media Materials
>The Media Resource Center located on floor 6, Milner Library, contains
>non-print materials that support all areas of instruction at ISU. Services
>in the MRC include: facilities for listening and viewing in a variety of
>formats, film and videotape scheduling and delivery, reserves, and reference
>The Media Resource Center Acquisitions Committee solicits requests for media
>materials to be purchased twice each year. The Committee will review
>requests in October and April to identify items to be purchased from the
>media materials budget. Items which may be requested for purchase include
>(but are not limited to): 16mm films, VHS videocassettes, audio tapes,
>compact discs, slide/tape programs, filmstrip/audio programs, overhead
>projection sets, videodiscs, and interactive video programs. You may submit
>additional requests any time during the year and they will be considered if
>funds are available.
>To assist you in identifying needs which are appropriate for this support,
>some of the criteria the Committee uses in evaluating these requests are
>that the item(s): 1) could be used in more than one formal education program
>of the University, 2) will have multiple viewings and, 3) would not require
>spending an inordinately large portion of funds available for this purpose.
>Enclosed is a copy of the Media Purchase Request Form. Feel free to make
>additional copies as needed. Submit requests directly to the Department
>Chair for approval and prioritization. Please note that requests for media
>equipment and film rentals should not be made on this form. All purchased
>materials will be housed in the Media Resource Center. You will be notified
>whether your request has been approved for funding and again when purchased
>items are available for use. If you have questions, please call me. Kim
>Lloyd is Media Librarian at Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois.
>Campus Box 8900 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790-8900
> 309.438.7452 (voice) 309.438.3676 (fax) MC
>Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship V2#2 Fall 1994 ISSN
>This article is copyright (C) 1994 by Kim Lloyd. All Rights Reserved. MC
>Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship is copyright (C) 1994
>by Lori Widzinski. All commercial use requires
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: laroi.lawton []
> > Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 1:03 PM
> > To: Multiple recipients of list
> > Subject: Re: video approval plans?
> >
> > Dear Colleagues:
> > What we do at Bronx Community College is the following:
> > There are five librarians who specialize in core areas across the academic
> > curriculum. We take a look at the course syllabus for every media list we
> > have. These lists are mediagraphies which we have produced over the years
> > that are related to the specific course. Any video title we feel is
> > essential to that course must be previewed by the Instructor teaching that
> > course. If approved, and depending upon our budget, we purchase it.
> > Another
> > requirement on our part is that the Instructor include the title in their
> > course syllabus for students to look at when covering the topic in class.
> > We
> > also ask Instructors to give us titles of videos they feel may be good for
> > their course and get these items sent in on preview. All Instructors are
> > asked to fill out preview forms for all items approved and disapproved for
> > purchase so that we can refer back to a title if need be to see if another
> > Instructor gave a different opinion. This has worked well for us because,
> > the Instructor(s) is an integral part of the process and it has helped us
> > determine what items not to buy-even if we think otherwise. Since our
> > entire
> > collection is course-related across the BCC curriculum, this has helped us
> > develop a unique collection
> > that many of our students and faculty appreciate.
> >
> > LaRoi Lawton, Director
> > Gerald S. Lieblich Learning Resource Center
> > Library & Learning Resources Dept.
> > Bronx Community College
> > Bronx, NY 10453
> >
> >
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Roberta Astroff" <>
> > To: "Multiple recipients of list" <>
> > Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 9:43 AM
> > Subject: Re: video approval plans?
> >
> >
> > > 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
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >"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
> > > > >
> > > > >
> > > > >

Oksana Dykyj voice: 514-848-3443
Head, Visual Media Resources fax: 514-848-3441
Faculty of Fine Arts
Concordia University
H-335, 1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W,
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3G 1M8