I think part of the problem is patron education. When telling people about
our collection I always mention the silents and foreign films. People are
really surprised we have them. Also, silents and foreign films take some
effort on the part of the viewer. For talkies and movies in English- you
can leave the room, and still hear what's happening. Not so with silents
and foreign films. You have to make a concentrated effort to watch all the
time - or else you miss something. Also, most silents are in black and
white, or only have some hand tinting. Many, many people are turned off by
black and white. So, another education point.
Also, you can tell from the video rental stores what people want. If more
people wanted silents and foreign films, the store collections would sure be
larger, and would include more than basic core titles, the latest Academy
Award winners, or the more well known titles from the major
directors/producers. A library that isn't serious about nonprint materials
to begin with isn't going to make a big effort to include anything other
than popular feature films in their collection.
Sorry this is so long, but this conversation pops up every once in a while.
Also, THANK YOU to Randy, for including a lovely stat in the Video Librarian
Plus - Each week, about 250 videos/dvd titles are released. Finally, an
answer to "Why don't you have ____ title."
Overwhelmed, and going under again,
Unit Head, Periodicals, Audiovisual
Aurora Public Library
1 E. Benton Street
Aurora, IL 60505