RE: Audiovisual Reserves

Eileen Simmons (
Fri, 22 Feb 2002 12:57:22 -0800 (PST)

I've never worked in a system as large as yours, but do have some experience
with this issue. My previous position was in a city system with a main
library, about eleven branches, and an inadequate AV budget. We let people
place holds on all AV collections, and were never overwhelmed. When I took
my present job, the tradition here was to not allow holds on feature films.
Circulation staff was afraid they would be overwhelmed by an avalanche of
videos. Patrons were frustrated because it was almost impossible to be sure
you would ever get to see a particular video--even if it wasn't a
blockbuster. Our features go out almost as fast as they come in, and the
chance that you would actually be in the library at the same time a
particular video was, seemed remote. So I begged and cajoled, and we began
letting people place holds. The result was anticlimactic to say the least.
Yes, there are longer cues for blockbusters, but since we don't buy them
until the price comes way down anyway, those truly desperate to see them
have already rented them from a video store. I still think most of our use
is browsing--but I can say our patrons really appreciate the option.

Eileen Simmons
Everett Public Library
Everett, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: Blaine Waterman []
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2002 12:31 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Audiovisual Reserves

On March 1st, the San Francisco Public Library will start allowing holds to
be placed through our online catalog for CDs, videos, DVDs, and audiobooks.
Previously, our AV collections have been strictly browsing.

We are a large system (26 branches) with a lot of feature films in our
collection. I'm concerned about how to do collection development in this
new environment and wonder if other public librarians on the list have
already dealt with this type of situation. Will we have 1000 people queuing
up for every blockbuster? Thanks in advance for any guidance list members
can provide.


Blaine Waterman
Audiovisual Center Librarian
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street SF, CA 94102
415-557-4461; fax 415-557-4424