video purchasing fiscal year 2003

Karen Gorss Benko (
Fri, 21 Jun 2002 13:34:44 -0700 (PDT)

A few months ago, we changed our video policy to prefer DVDs, all other things
being equal. So now our policy is thus:

1. First choice is whatever format the requestor wants.
2. If the requestor doesn't specify, and it's available in both formats, we
choose DVD.
3. If it's only available in one format, we get it in that format. I suppose a
requestor could say, Get it only on [format], and if it's not available in that
format, don't get it at all. I doubt that happens much though.

We made this change for several reasons. I actually began the discussion in our
library b/c I was having to catalog on DVD the same movie I had just cataloged
three months ago on VHS. So I said, What if we just got them on DVD to begin
with? The consensus here was that DVD has been around long enough to be
familiar, and not to go the way of the laserdisc, that DVDs potentially last
longer than VHSs, and that enough of our classrooms are now equipped with a DVD
player that we wouldn't be causing curricular havoc if we preferred DVDs.

We still have about 10 times more VHSs than DVDs in our collection.

Hope this helps.

Daren Callahan wrote:

> Can I ask what kinds of purchasing you all will be doing this next fiscal
> year? Video? DVD? Will you continue to purchase both? What criteria will
> you use? We have a relatively small collection (approx. 10,000 videos)
> and a small budget (about $17,000), and we just started adding DVDs in the
> last year. Since I had to use my video allocation to incorporate these DVD
> purchases, I tried to be selective and ordered titles that were recommended
> for their quality or additional material. The DVD presence in the rental
> chains has mushroomed in the past year, and, with this latest announcement
> from Circuit City, I suppose the trend is clear.
> I would find it really helpful if folks would share their plans for
> purchasing for FY03.
> Thanks.
> x:..:x:..:x:..:x:..:x:..:x:..:x:..:x:...
> Daren Callahan
> Head, Cataloging Department
> Morris Library, Southern Illinois University
> Carbondale, IL 62901-6632
> FAX: 618-453-3452
> 618-453-7681

Karen Gorss Benko
Catalog Librarian and Russian liaison
Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts