RE: [Videolib] Digital materials and library collections

Lisa Irwin (
Wed, 28 May 2003 09:39:00 -0400

Hi Claire,

I like your ideal world! Help me take this a step further by imagining how these digital copies will be loaned. Libraries begin to build digital collections of video, audiobooks and music under the ideal conditions you have described. How would the materials be delivered? It seems that digital materials could either be burned to disc or transferred to a portable viewing/listening device at the library or "checked out" from the library catalog and streamed to an outside location. How would multiple uses be handled? If burned to disc, wouldn't it need to be a self-destructing, disposable disc (ala Disney) with a built-in "loan" period? Or in the case of portable devices, some encryption program that would make the material digitally "unreadable" after a certain period of time? In the physical world, libraries buy as many copies as they want to simultaneously circulate. Would this be true in the digital world? Or does it make more sense to buy the digital item AND some kind of
use license that permits "x" number of simultaneous usages?

When trying to think these things through, most of the models we've worked with in the past deal with physical items. I don't know how effective it is to try to apply these same principles to the digital world. But it's hard to come up with new models that are fair to all parties. Anyone have any other ideas about this? All of the comments posted so far have been extremely helpful; I thank you all for your shared wisdom on this subject.


Lisa Irwin (
(on behalf of the Multimedia Focus Group, Internet Resources course at Wayne State University)

-----Original Message-----
From: M. Claire Stewart []
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 8:58 AM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Digital materials and library collections


Here's what I think would be an ideal situation for the transition to
all digital in multimedia library collections (film/video and

1. Buy digital = buy digital, as in: buy, own, have the ability to
hold locally, not pay to access
2. No licensing. No shrinkwrap licenses, no license to access, no
special terms for use, and NO "digital use licenses" in addition to a
title purchase.
3. No digital rights management (DRM) enforcement of any kind

This leaves aside the PPR issue, which I consider to be separate, and
which really needn't change in an all digital scenario.
Apologies for the delay in responding; I'm reading in digest mode.


>Date: Fri, 23 May 2003 15:57:32 -0400
>From: "Lisa Irwin" <>
>To: <>
>Subject: [Videolib] Digital materials and library collections
>Message-ID: <>
>Content-Type: text/plain;
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>Message: 3
>Dear VideoLibbers,
>As members of a LIS course multimedia focus group, we are interested in =
>comments from professionals working with multimedia materials regarding =
>how a shift from analog-based to digital-based materials affects library =
>collections. Specifically, how do you anticipate that your collections =
>will be able to incorporate digital video and digital audio? What are =
>the implications of a trend toward access to bits rather than ownership =
>for library collections and patron services? How do you envision =
>multimedia collections and services changing in the coming decade =
>relative to advances in technology?
>Any thoughts and comments will be gratefully received! (Feel free to =
>respond off-list if you feel it would be more appropriate.)
>Lisa Irwin (
>(on behalf of the Multimedia Focus Group, Internet Resources course at =
>Wayne State University)

M. Claire Stewart
Head, Digital Media Services
Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center
Northwestern University Library
(847) 467-1437
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