Video collection development

Kim Crowley (
Tue, 9 Apr 2002 16:38:06 -0700 (PDT)

I have just taken over the coordination of non-print media Collection
Development for our Library and the selection of videos (both VHS and DVD)
for the adult and young adult collections. Having done little collection
development in the past, I have a huge learning curve to overcome. But
it's been quite fun!

I am wondering what other mid-sized public libraries do about selecting
films. Do you have a specific policy that dictates what you buy? Do you
have a specific dollar amount over which you will not go? I have been
lurking on this list and looking at lots of great sources for videos. The
ALA Video Roundtable Notable Videos for Adults has proven a great list.
But some of the films are very expensive and the person before me had an
artificial cap of about $29.99 for any film! (I'm probably exaggerating
a bit.)

If you buy a film for $295 and it gets damaged in a home video machine,
what do you do? Do you buy a certain number of these more costly films
each year? Our philosophy is to buy "award winning" films and not get
into multiple copies of popular titles that could be found at the local
video stores. I would like our collection to have copies of the more
expensive films that can't be found at the local video store, but our
collection development team is not sure I should spend the funds in that

Any insight you can send my way would be most appreciated. Thanks!

Kim Crowley, Technology Coordinator
City of Fort Collins Public Library
201 Peterson Street phone: 970.221.6662
Fort Collins, CO 80524 fax: 970.221.6398