Re: Interfiling Woes

Gregory Callahan (
Fri, 22 Feb 2002 14:12:14 -0800 (PST)

The terminology is confusing.  It seems to me that a "feature" film is not necessarily a "non-fiction" film.  My sense of "feature" is that it refers more to length than to content.  On the other hand,  do you ever hear movie biz types or film critics actually talk about "fiction" and "non-fiction" films to begin with?  Since 99.999% of all films are "fiction," I guess that's pretty much understood.  "Documentary" is a useful term in that it distinguishes a clearly from  the rest of the product.

Note that we also don't tend to talk about "fictional" theater pieces, although they too are (largely) works of the imagination.

And we don't tend to interfile dramatic works with fiction in public libraries--although it's all literature. (Academics do it differently, I know.)

I can see a strong argument for including "Woodstock" or "Hoop Dreams"  with the so-called "fiction" videos.  They're reasonably popular and feature length.  

Greg Callahan

>From: jon aubrey
>To: Multiple recipients of list
>Subject: Interfiling Woes
>Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 13:48:30 -0800 (PST)
> Hello vidlibbers. Please bear with me as I am but a
>lowly graduate library school student, though perhaps
>a future A/V librarian. I have some questions about
>inter/misfiling of videos in the public library in
>which I work. The A/V librarian here has consistently
>referred me to how OCLC has cataloged certain items
>when I've asked her why some fiction ends up shelved
>with the non-fiction, and vice versa. For
>instance...Does anyone out there have any idea why
>certain titles (Ross McElway's Time Indefinite and
>Sherman's March, Errol Morris' Mr. Death and Fast,
>Cheap, Out Of Control)), all definitely documentaries,
>should end up being cataloged and shelved with the
>movies as feature fiction films? Though these films
>were perhaps originally released and distributed as if
>they were features, they are really just popular
>documentaries marketed as if they were features. On
>the other side of the equation, how did Thirty Two
>Short Films About Glenn Gould, a fictionalized feature
>film, ever end up being cataloged as V 780.92/Gould?
>Glenn Gould didn't direct or write the script for this
>film. Anyone have any ideas as to how these apparent
>cataloging errors might have occurred?
> On another note, it seems to me that while many
>instructional videos should obviously be cataloged in
>the appropriate non-fiction section, some documentary
>titles might circulate far more if they were shelved
>(not necessarily interfiled) with the fiction movies.
>This might work particularly well with documantaries
>that have been released theatrically (The Life And
>Times Of Hank Greenberg), are/were up for Oscars
>(Genghis Blues), or are more well known (The Sorrow
>And The Pity, Woodstock). Has anyone out there
>experimented with rotating a small number of more
>popular documentary titles in a separate area within
>or near their fiction movie section?
> Thanks for indulging a puzzled student's curiosity,
>and thanks for the tips earlier this week on where to
>find Harry In Your Pocket.
> Jon A.
> Queens, NY
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Yahoo! Sports - Coverage of the 2002 Olympic Games

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