Here's what I have:
I have a film/video rental budget (started in the days when renting of
16mm films was common).
I also have a purchasing budget that comes from a different funding
(It's an artificial division created in the fiscal office, even
though it's all Library money, but never the twain shall meet.)
There is no rental policy except that it must be for classroom use. The
rentals have always been first come first serve, with no limits on what
is rented or how much is spent. So, yes, we'll rent something for 1/2
the purchase price because the faculty wants it Now but there isn't
purchasing money available. (Or worse, we pay $300 for a feature film
w/PPR even though the Film Analysis class doesn't need PPR.)
The advantage in renting as I see it is
(a) the ability to be responsive to immediate needs, and
(b) allows access to pricey titles the departments can't afford to
purchase. Ex: $500 Business videos. When possible, I try to purchase
(getting credit for the rental price and paying remainder out of the
other account), but too often we pay the rental fee and that's it.
There's more to it, but that's the gist of it.
Basically, I'm trying to come up with a rental policy that is more
fiscally responsible, but won't tick off the faculty too much.
But I'm also considering whether or not we should still be in the habit
of renting at all.
I will, of course, be presenting my plan to the dean as "I can save
money here, but only if I'm allowed to use the savings to purchase more
videos and DVDs." <grin>
Media Services Librarian
Minnesota State University-Mankato