summary of video/dvd loan policies

Julie Dinkins (dinkins@SONOMA.EDU)
Thu, 25 Apr 2002 14:17:11 -0700 (PDT)

What a wonderful response! Thanks everyone for your input, I really
appreciate it. It always helpful to see what other libraries are
doing, when considering policy changes.

jd
PS: My answers are at the bottom.
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Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY

1. - loan period of 1 week and the videos are not renewable ( at
present only the Central branch carries dvds
2. - a patron can check out up to 3 videos at a time
3. - the same loan rules apply to all patrons, however parents can
limit their children to only juvenile material
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Middlebury College, Sunderland Language Center, Middlebury, VT

Video cassettes, videodiscs and other materials needed for course
work are available at the circulation desk and may be checked out by
students for use in the center only with a Middlebury student ID. We
appreciate your understanding that the College video collection is
just for use in its instructional programs and may not be used for
entertainment purposes. Materials that are not on reserve may be
checked out by faculty members for classroom preparation or research.
The loan period is one week, with renewals permitted. The checkout
period for student use is 4 hrs and, as it states above, use must be
in the center only (exceptions are the occasional classroom
presentation by a student). Alumni and staff do not have loan
privileges;
the collection is considered strictly academic, but may view
materials in the center by presenting an ID. We have no item limits
-- this isn't something that's usually abused.

Once in a while someone complains about restrictive policies, but not
often, and faculty members like the fact that materials are available
when needed.
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Appleton Public Library - resource library for a consortia of some 50
independent libraries in NE Wisconsin

1. 7 days. When our collection was small, the loan period was
limited to 3 days. Patrons kept asking for a longer loan period. We
finally reached a collection size where we figured that we wouldn't
lose much by extending the loan period; so we matched the local
Blockbuster. We decided the overhead of having a shorter period for
new videos wasn't worth the staff training.
2. Circulation limits are based on a monetary value instead of a
quantity. I believe the patron can check out $70 worth of materials.
After that they can used their spouse's card, or their kid's card...
3. Staff cards are in a unique category, but we treat them the same
as all other patrons.
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Wabash College, Indiana

We're a small liberal arts college in Indiana. We loan videos & DVDs
for 2 days to students & staff, 7 days to faculty. There is no
circulation (other than ILL) to anyone outside the Wabash community.
To my knowledge, there is no limit on the number of videos/DVDs which
one can check out concurrently.

We also make exceptions when faculty claim they "need" to use a video
for longer than the one-week checkout. While we first encourage
their having us place those items on reserve, if that fails, we will
consider extending the checkout for up to the semester.
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Toledo-Lucas Co. Public Library, Toledo, OH

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? 2 days for features,
7 days for nonfiction (renewable) and children's. We don't make
anything due on weekends, so a Thu-Fri-Sat checkout is due Monday.
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? 6 DVD's, 12 VHS
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? Nope. Teachers always want special treatment, but they
don't usually get it.....we try to show them options that will help
them get what they want while still staying within the rules. Fines
are 50 cents a day, and that's really not so bad considering it's
FREE!!
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Rutgers University Libraries, NJ

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? 3 days for faculty and grads
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? no limit, we go with
system access rules whenever we can
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? yes, undergrads must use on site
4. Academic libraries: do you have different loan rules for faculty? yes

> I am in a situation where my predecessors created policies and then
> regularly violated them. As a result, the current staff are seen as
> "bad guys" for trying to adhere to the rules. We do make exceptions
> in extreme cases and try to be fair.

This is important and you're on the right track. No one likes the
short leash for these materials but they are vulnerable to damage,
and just can't be left sitting around like books. They need to be
stored properly when not in use, hence the quick turnaround. As to
the bad guys image, I'm very careful to leave to the staff to assert
the rules or break them if they think it's warranted. When I
started -- like you -- people were used to asking for the "boss" and
getting special treatment. It took a year of working with both
sides, but now I almost never get involved and the staff is so good
at explaining "why" and being flexible that no complaints reach me
anymore.
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City of Fort Collins Public Library, Fort Collins, CO

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? We check out videos
and dvds for one week and allow 2 renewals if no one is on holds for
the item (renewals are the same for books).
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? Customer can check
out 5 videos/dvds at a time. (this is 5 total).
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of patrons? No.

We are toying with the idea of creating another loan rule for video
sets that have several hours of viewing in one package. For
instance, we have the PBS series "Africans in America: America's
Journey Through Slavery" that has 4 tapes for a total of 360 minutes.
This might more appropriately check out for 3 weeks (as most of our
books do). But we're only in the "thinking about it" stages now.
Allowing renewals may help with some of your issues.
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Amos Memorial Public Library, a medium public library in Sidney, Ohio

1. 2 days.
2. 5 tapes and 2 DVDs.
3. Teachers may borrow for videotapes and DVDs for 7 days using a
school-affiliated card.
4. NA.
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Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS

1. One week for entertainment titles (mostly movies), three weeks
for documentary/instructional titles. (These are the only two loan
periods we have--all print materials also circ for three weeks.)
2. No limit.
3. No--loan periods same for all patrons.
4. N/A
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Film & Video Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? Same for both
formats. 3 days (one pickup day, 1 loan day, one return day)
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? limit of 10 for
faculty (flexible) three for students
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? overdue fines for students ($1.00 per day) no overdue fines
for instructors
4. Academic libraries: do you have different loan rules for faculty?
Pretty flexible with loan periods for faculty, not flexible with
students.
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Language Resource Center , University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

We serve a very small population of our campus, so we can be more
relaxed with our policies, and we do not lend to students directly.

However, we have a working relationship with our film&video library
on campus, they serve the entire university. We reserve titles for
instructors who are in the languages. Some of these faculty are use
the media MUCH more intensively than other. But they are held to the
same lending policy, which is too restrictive for their usage. Our
FVL lending times are based on enrollment, but if you have an upper
level course in slavic film/cinema/...the 1 week that they allow you
is not sufficient. We run into frustration all the time over this.

So, you might want to consider not only enrollment, but type of usage
when establishing policy.
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Monroe County Public Library, Bloomington IN

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? 3 days with a few
exceptions, such as exercise, 10 days also can be renewed if not
reserved. we do make exceptions for educators on a case by case basis
but try to limit to no more than 14 days.
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? 5 of each
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? at the present time you must be 18 years of age for feature
films, but any age can check out non-features. We are trying to
change the age loan rule and believe that withing 6 months the
collection will be completely open to all.
4. Academic libraries: do you have different loan rules for faculty?
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SELKIRK COLLEGE Library/Bookshop, Nelson, British Columbia

We are a small community college with an open shelves video
collection of about 3000 videos. No dvds.

Students have two overnights (not two days because all videos are due
at 12:30pm no matter what time of day they sign them out!). Faculty
have three overnights - unless they specify the loan period IN
ADVANCE, either at the Circ desk, or by booking the title ahead of
time. We do lots of bookings for faculty.

We also participate in a provincial media exchange cooperative so
some titles may be out of the library for longer due to shipping, but
usually these are booked ahead of time. The faculty know that we
'share' because they can request videos from other institutions, so
many do request advance bookings of our collection.

Student can do advance bookings too, if needed to show in class for a
presentation.

Overdue fines for both fac and student are $2.50 per day! We created
an appeal form for those who protest. It works, we haven't had too
many complaints. There's a two-hour grace period built in to the time
due to allow for videos coming in a bit late. So the fine starts at
2:30pm.

The exceptions we make are - for the weekend, if we are open on a
Sunday a Friday loan would be due Sunday, but many students commute
so we change the loan period to Monday. Usually we ask them if they
are planning to come in to study on a Sunday.
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Western Washington University libraries, WA

1- 3 days for students, 7 days for faculty and staff
2- We have a limit of 100 items checked out at any one time. We do
not limit by material type.
3- All users are fined $1.00 per day for videos (as opposed to $0.30
for books). Faculty only pay once the video goes to lost book status
- they don't pay a daily fine per se. Faculty are allowed to book
videos for classroom use either by using the self-booking button in
our OPAC or by calling the Media Desk. Students can book for at the
Media Desk IF they can adequately demonstrate the booking is for a
class presentation. All users are restricted to 4hour loan when a
video is placed on Course Reserves.
4- Yes - see above.
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Minnesota State University - Mankato, MN

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? I've gone with a
3-day check out (really 3-night, due on 4th day) for videos and DVDs.
I think it works well. It was 24-hours, which was way too short. This
way patrons can have videos over the weekend, or long enough to show
over two class periods. In exchange for the longer loan, I've set a
steep $5 per day late fee. I'm evaluating whether or not it's helping
get videos back on time. If faculty asks for a reasonable extension,
we usual agree. Since faculty aren't fined, they're going to keep it
as long as they want anyway. I'd rather have the OPAC showing that
it's not due until Friday, as opposed to being due Wednesday but
knowing the prof isn't going to return on time. I don't agree to more
than a week extra, since I know very well they aren't _using_ the
video for the entire semester. I will occasionally extend loan for a
student, if they have a good reason. Generally don't renew.
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? No official limit,
but encourage 2, warning that late fee is per video.
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of patrons?
4. Academic libraries: do you have different loan rules for faculty?
Everyone who is allowed to borrow books can borrow videos (faculty,
staff, students, public, interlibrary loan) Same length for all, but
faculty can't be fined. (Unfortunately)
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Library Media Center, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

We are a large, metropolitan university with a separate Media Center
in the main campus library. We provide a variety of services that
involve our video/dvd collection, such as scheduled use and various
levels of faculty reserve. This can at times make flexibility more
of an issue than it might be otherwise. Hope the comments below help.

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? *1 week; no renewal
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? *5 titles at a time
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? *No. All patrons have the same loan periods, item limit,
etc.
4. Academic libraries: do you have different loan rules for faculty?

*We do provide scheduled date pick up for faculty use mainly,
although we have started taking requests from students needing to
schedule a video check out in order to have for a class presentation,
and we place
"holds" for checked out videos for faculty mainly, although we have
started accepting hold requests for students needing a checked out
video for their research. With faculty, exceptions that we try to
accommodate include: we will increase the number of items circulated
if it is for a particular need (this doesn't come up too often) we
will "renew" an item if it is needed for additional class time (you
know, we've made that exception for a student in dire need as well,
just rarely)
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UC San Diego, CA

At UC San Diego we loan to faculty & grad students only. Undergrads
must watch material w/in the library. Our loan rule is the same for
fac as grad - 3 days w/ 1 renewal if necessary. We do not have a
posted limit, but usually our patrons a quite reasonable. If an
undergrad needs a video for a class presentation, they may check out
the item the day of the presentation, returning the item the same
day. We rarely, but do, make exceptions.
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Barrington Public Library, Barrington, RI

I work in a public library, so I don't know how useful my answers will be.

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? 7 days
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? No limit of videos,
limit of four DVDs (as it is a smaller collection)
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? No. Although occasionally we will make a special
arrangement for a teacher who needs an educational video longer than
7 days. We've been burnt by this before, so we don't do it often and
only for non-fiction videos.
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Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus OH

I saw your message and am happy to share CML's policies with you.
Although we're a public library, I hope the info is helpful.

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? Fiction (aka feature
films) is 5 days, 1 renewal if no reserves.
NF is 14 days, 1 renewal if no reserves.
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? Total of 5 videos
and/or dvds. That's the highest liability we can tolerate.
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? Our only rule is that parents can choose to block their
minor children from checking out R rated feature films if they wish.
We sometimes extend our holding period (5 days) at customer request.
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University of South Carolina Film Library, Columbia, SC

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? 3 BUSINESS DAYS
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? AS MANY AS THEY CAN
HAVE RETURNED IN 3 B. DAYS. THE OFFICIAL RULE IS 6, BUT IF THEY JUST
WANTED TO SCAN THROUGH SOME STUFF, THEN WE RELAX THE RULES A LITTLE.
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? YES. FACULTY AND TEACHING GRAD STUDENTS HAVE 3 B. DAYS,
UNIV. STAFF HAS 1 B. DAY, AND STUDENTS MAY ONLY WATCH FILMS IN-HOUSE.
4. Academic libraries: do you have different loan rules for faculty?
YES, AS STATED ABOVE. WE HAVE TO GIVE THEM MORE TIME, BECAUSE
SOMETIMES THEY NEED MORE THAN ONE CLASS PERIOD TO SHOW A FILM. THEY
CAN ALSO RENEW THE FILMS OVER THE PHONE.

I am in a situation where my predecessors created policies and then
regularly violated them. As a result, the current staff are seen as
"bad guys" for trying to adhere to the rules. We do make exceptions
in extreme cases and try to be fair. And we have lengthened our loan
periods for faculty to better meet their needs. I'd really like to
see what other libraries are doing loan policy-wise and I appreciate
any input.
DON'T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT PEOPLE'S PERCEPTIONS ABOUT FAIRNESS, AT
LEAST NOT IN THE SHORT RUN. AS LONG AS YOU HAVE LEGITIMATE (NOT
ARBITRARY) REASONS FOR YOUR POLICIES, AND THE BACKING OF YOUR
SUPERVISORS, THEN YOU'RE SET. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOME WHINERS, AND
OF COURSE THERE WILL BE AN ADJUSTMENT TIME WHERE FOLKS COME IN
EXPECTING TO GET ONE KIND OF TREATMENT AND ARE DISAPPOINTED TO FIND
OTHERWISE NOW. THE KEY TO OUR SUCCESS WITH RELATIVELY STRICT RULES,
IS TO EXPLAIN *WHY* THEY CAN'T GET WHAT THEY WANT. FOR EXAMPLE, WE
CAN'T HAVE SEMESTER LONG CHECKOUT FOR FACULTY, BECAUSE SOME ITEMS ARE
SO HEAVILY USED. WHAT IF SOMEONE IN WOMEN'S STUDIES CHECKED OUT YOUR
COPY OF SLIM HOPES FOR THE SEMESTER? YOU'D HAVE A LOT MORE THAN ONE
PERSON QUITE TICKED OFF. AND YES, STUDENTS ARE TICKED WHEN WE TELL
THEM THEY CAN'T LEAVE THE BUILDING WITH OUR STUFF, BUT IMAGINE 4
STUDENTS ALL MISSING THE PRESENTATION OF "OTHELLO" IN CLASS, AND THEY
COME TO THE FILM LIBRARY WANTING TO CHECK IT OUT. ONLY THE FIRST
PERSON WOULD GET IT AND THE OTHER 3 WOULD BE OUT OF LUCK. IT DOESN'T
MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY, BUT MOST PEOPLE AT LEAST DON'T CONSIDER US "BAD
GUYS" WHEN EXPLAIN THE REASONS FOR OUR RULES.
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Library & Learning Resources Dept, Bronx Community College, NY

As the person in charge you dictate the rules and regulations. What
we do here at Bronx Community College is the following: In our
student and faculty handbook are the rules and regulations of the
Learning Resource Center. Our media center is a non-circulating
library. Only faculty and staff are allowed overnight use of any
item. All items are catalogued in our University's online circulation
system. As such any item that leaves the premises must be checked out
with a valid college ID card. When an item is kept more than a few
days, we call the Instructor and or send out an overdue notice. When
I first came the Bronx CC, we were looked upon as the bad guys for
not allowing students to check out items but our justification was
very simple: Many of the items we purchase are course related. These
items were and are still being purchased with funds too far and few
at the moment. These items are not cheap.They range in pricing from
$195 to 400, depending upon the vendor. Using Films for the
Humanities as one example, the pricing of some of their items is very
high but in demand. With a $20,000.00 budget to last a fiscal year,
July to June 30, frugality is a must. I would ask to have a meeting
with the department chairs of those people complaining to enlighten
them on the reasons you need to change the previous policy in place.
The sooner, the better.
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Arizona State University West Library, Glendale, Arizona

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? 7 days for
affiliated faculty/staff/students; 3 days for community borrowers and
use by ILL borrowers
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? No limit
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? Yes. Community users have 3 days
4. Academic libraries: do you have different loan rules for faculty? No.

Additionally, videos are on open stacks. Viewing facilities on
premises. Videos places on Reserve for courses may have a loan period
matching any of our other reserve loan periods (2 hours, overnight, 3
days, etc.)

Videos loaned to the ASU campus in Tempe (Main) have 3 day loans
(identical to the Main loan period)

Videos booked in advance may have flexible loan periods on request.

I encourage you and your staff to examine how and WHY videos are
treated differently from other library resources.....
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University Library, Tennessee Technological University

Here at Tennessee Tech we loan vhs/dvds to students for 3 days,
faculty for 1 week. Each category of borrower gets one renewal. We
have no limit on the number that can be check out, but I do try point
out that there is probably a finite limit to the amount of viewing a
person can do in 3, 6 days. Our faculty--before I came-tended to
check out materials and keep them for a whole semester. I had to
gently point out that they were taking an entire portion of the
collection and removing it from access. Our solution is to provide a
pick-up and delivery service, which has worked well. Faculty call and
request titles, we check them out and deliver either to their office
or to the departmental office. We are a fairly compact campus so
this does not take a lot of time, and frankly there really are only a
very few 'greedy borrowers.' I'm sympathetic to your dilemma; I've
found the best approach is to emphasize that the titles they are
sitting on are in demand by others. Generally faculty are pretty good
at sharing. I also have on occasion quietly bent my rules and allowed
a full semester check out, but only for a title that is so very
specific that the faculty member is probably the only one who would
use it--usually some arcane engineering topic.
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Aurora Public Library, Aurora, IL

Our checkout time is 2 weeks, $1 per title to check out, fines are $1
a day, with no grace period. Fines can go up to $30 or the cost of
the tape, whichever comes first. So, with fines, we are always
checking for prices. Patrons have to have an adult card to check out,
9th grade or above. Patrons must be 18 to check out R rated feature
films.

The barcode is on the actual videotape cassette, so we have to open
the cases to check out and check in. We also ask patrons to wait
while we check in all av materials - it takes time, but this way we
can check right away to see that the tape is in the case, the tape
belongs to us and noone took a bite out of it, so to speak. If the
tape is missing, or is not our, we give the case back to the patron
to take home, and retrieve. We don't consider the material returned
until all pieces are back - booklets, flyers, etc. Otherwise, things
end up in our snag shelf, we have to wait to call the patron, they
may or may not ever bring the item back, whatever. This is what
works for us. I know it wouldn't necessarily work for other
libraries.

The only problem we used to have is out at one of our branches. When
it first opened, our director pretty much told the branch head that
"do whatever to make the patrons happy." So on occasion, Patrons
will get a free pass on the dollar checkout fee, if they don't have
the money. the joke here is, that the average income in the area
served by the branch is in the 6 figure category and rising.
Otherwise, we really don't have any problems with staff not following
procedure.
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Sonoma State University Library, Rohnert Park, CA

1. How long is your loan period for videos/dvds? 7 days for
faculty/staff, 3 days for students. 2 hours for reserve items (also 1
day and 2 day loan periods available)
2. How many videos/dvds can a patron check out? 2 items of each format
3. Do you have different loan rules for different categories of
patrons? As mentioned above. Also, all other types of patrons
(community borrowers, pre-college programs, high-tech high school,
alumni, etc...) get 3 day loan period.
4. Academic libraries: do you have different loan rules for faculty?
7 day loan, instead of 3 day loan. We will also stretch the 2
items/format for faculty when they are previewing for classes.

Julie Dinkins
Multimedia Dept Manager
Sonoma State University Library
dinkins@sonoma.edu | 707-664-4077
http://libweb.sonoma.edu/