Re: [Videolib] DVD vs. VHS in public libraries -- survey results

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Mon, 08 Sep 2003 17:08:57 -0400

A reminder related to this DO NOT GET RID OF ANYTHING IN VHS unless
it is ALREADY available on DVD ( and then only if you must) There are going
to be THOUSANDS of titles that for a variety of reasons will NEVER be
available on DVD that were on VHS ( and vice versa) just don't let anyone
convince you that everything will be out on DVD.
-- 
Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
jrosner@kino.com

> From: Gary Handman <ghandman@library.berkeley.edu> > Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu > Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2003 12:24:27 -0700 > To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu > Subject: Re: [Videolib] DVD vs. VHS in public libraries -- survey results > > Thanks, Mike...this is purty darned interesting... > > There's a rather depressing implication buried in these statistics, I > think. If libraries let the format rather than the content determine > collection development policies and directions, I despair. Let's face it, > although some distributors of educational/documentary works have > enthusiastically hopped on the DVD bandwagon, many more have not, and may > not for a looooong time to come (or never). A collection of non-fiction > works that veers heavily toward DVD titles will almost certainly bypass > many, if not most, works produced by independent documentary filmmakers--at > least in the short term. Letting format determine the nature of collection > at this particular point in time means building a collection heavily biased > toward home video... Seems to me that it has been an on-going, uphill > battle in most public libraries to build collections that venture beyond > popular movies and mainstream fiction works... I certainly hope that the > advent of a new format doesn't make this battle even more grim... > > Gary > > > >> Last week I posted a brief survey on the VIDEOLIB and PUBLIB lists, asking >> public librarians about their current DVD & VHS purchase patterns. Here’s >> the original survey: >> >> 1. What percentage of FICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs. VHS >> (i.e. "purchasing 60% DVD, 40% VHS"). >> >> 2. What percentage of NONFICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs. >> VHS? >> >> 3. A quick note about your library size, video budget, and community >> makeup would be helpful too. >> >> Below is a very unscientific summary of the results. I’m a lousy >> statistician so I’ve simply included brief quotes. Some of the results, >> especially question #3, were not easy to summarize, so I have included all >> the unedited responses (with library names removed) following the summary. >> (Maybe a math whiz out there can correlate DVD/VHS ratios to library size, >> budget, etc. Good luck!) >> >> I heard from 15 people, but only 10 offered figures. The remainder >> indicated they would be starting DVD collections soon and wanted the >> results to aid in collection development. A wide variety of librarians >> responded, representing everything from small rural libraries to large >> urban settings. >> >> >> SUMMARY: >> >> All but one respondent still purchase VHS. The one who doesn’t wrote: “We >> stopped purchasing any VHS materials in January 2003. We don't even >> accept donations, as we feel it is a dead technology.” >> >> Though the other respondents still purchase both formats, percentages vary >> greatly. Here are some samples (each respondent is separated by dashes): >> >> FICTION: “70% DVD 30% VHS for 2003. It's likely to go to 80/20 or even >> 90/10 next year, though I may be forced to go all-DVD…” >> NONFICTION: “30% DVD 70% VHS for 2003. This will change in 2004 as well” >> >> --- >> >> FICTION: “currently 50/50, though VHS will be decreased soon, I suspect.” >> NONFICTION: “better than 90% VHS, though that will be changing soon also.” >> This same person also responded, re durability of both formats: “DVD >> certainly saves space, but we've been very disappointed in the durability. >> We have VHS with 250+ circs. I'm lucky to get a DVD to 40 before it's >> damaged or lost.” >> >> --- >> >> FICTION: “100% DVD.” >> NONFICTION: “100% VHS (Most kids non is not available on DVD yet).” >> >> --- >> >> FICTION: “70-80% DVD” >> NONFICTION: “70-80% DVD” >> >> --- >> >> “About half DVD, half VHS in both areas” >> >> --- >> >> FICTION: “41% DVD and 59% VHS” >> NONFICTION: “about 80% VHS vs. 20% DVD.” >> >> --- >> >> NONFICTION: “Video - 72%; DVD - 35%” >> >> --- >> >> “I tend to get [older titles] in video, thinking they will appeal to the >> more senior users. >> With newly released titles I am buying them in DVD. If they are >> tremendously popular I am also buying in VHS. That's not a hard and vast >> rule and I can't give you percentages on any of this… In my previous >> library I purchased a lot of non-fiction but I am buying much less now >> because it gets so little use.” >> >> --- >> >> >> UNEDITED RESPONSES: >> >> 1. 70% DVD 30% VHS for 2003. It's likely to go to 80/20 or even 90/10 >> next year, though I may be forced to go all-DVD. >> >> 2. 30% DVD 70% VHS for 2003. This will change in 2004 as well--I'll go >> to: prefer DVD, get on VHS only if not available on DVD. I guess that's >> effectively an all-DVD policy isn't it! >> >> 3. collection size: 1,273,000 all materials, 82,431 VHS, 8,874 DVD budget: >> $2,300,000 all materials, $59,800 VHS, $84,000 DVD, $143,800 VHS/DVD total >> (video figures include both children's and adult) community: 350,000 >> population (approx.) in X County, affluent and mostly white >> >> --- >> >> 1. What percentage of FICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs.. VHS >> - currently 50/50, though VHS will be decreased soon, I suspect. There's >> still not much in Children's as compared to VHS. Our VHS units have about >> 70 children's titles and 50 family titles each, plus about 50 drama, 40 >> comedy, 25 action, 20 mystery and a dozen musical and SF. There's just >> not enough out there in DVD yet to meet those numbers without lots of >> duplication of older titles. >> 2. What percentage of NONFICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs.. >> VHS? - better than 90% VHS, though that will be changing soon >> also. Again, for the instructional - math, science, health, car repair, >> cake decorating, hairstyling, etc. - there's just not a whole lot >> available yet. >> DVD certainly saves space, but we've been very disappointed in the >> durability. We have VHS with 250+ circs. I'm lucky to get a DVD to 40 >> before it's damaged or lost. >> 3. A quick note about your library size, video budget, and community >> makeup would be helpful too - We're the county district library. We have >> 5 branches plus bookmobile and homebound service. Our budget had been >> closing in on $8 million, but with the dire state budget situation, we're >> down to just over $5 million. The materials budget took the major hit… >> >> --- >> >> This info is applicable to my department only. Each department has >> individual >> needs, budget, etc. >> >> 1. Fiction-100% DVD. This was a recent decision on my part. >> 2. Non-fiction 100% VHS (Most kids non is not available on DVD yet). >> 3. 13,000 community, small/med size library, $1800 per year for VHS/DVD in >> Youth Department. Individual budgets for other AV materials. >> >> --- >> >> Our library has around 300,000 items in its collection. We have >> approximately 1,741 fiction DVDs and 158 nonfiction DVDs. We own 7,345 >> fiction videos and 3291 nonfiction videos. >> >> This year my video/DVD budget is $25,400. So far at least 70-80% of these >> purchases have been DVDs, though I don't have exact figures for you. The >> same holds true for both fiction and nonfiction. >> >> Our metropolitan area population is approximately 160,000. Most people are >> white and middle class, comfortable but not affluent. Unemplyment has been >> rising. >> >> We are by far the largest public library, though there are two other >> public libraries within the metropolitan area. Our economy is varied, >> meaning we have manufacturing, electronics, telemarketing, grain >> processing, construction, and so on. >> >> --- >> >> We just purchased our first DVDs; planned to start last year but budget >> was so poor we held off. >> >> We are a county library, one full service outlet and one outlet open 20 >> hours per week. We serve a county population of 29,000, largely rural, >> coal mining & farming being traditional sources of income, few small >> industries are here. Right now our materials budget is $30,000 and I set >> aside about $3,000 for audiovisual. I just made an arbitrary guestimate >> and said $500 for DVDs. And yes, that's for BOTH branches. I set the video >> figure at $750. We spend more on recorded books, but that's just because >> we have a standing order. Last year we had money at the end of the year so >> we spent much more >> than that. But I guessed at those figures based on circulation and overall >> budget. No formula! >> >> We have bought probably 10% nonfiction. And I guess that is true for both >> formats. >> >> --- >> >> We stopped purchasing any VHS materials in January 2003. We don't even >> accept donations, as we feel it is a dead technology. >> >> --- >> >> 1. What percentage of FICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs. VHS >> (i.e. "purchasing 60% DVD, 40% VHS"). >> >> 2. What percentage of NONFICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs. >> VHS? >> >> Right now, it's probably about half DVD, half VHS in both areas. We use >> Baker & Taylor as our primary vendor. >> >> 3. A quick note about your library size, video budget, and community makeup >> would be helpful too. >> >> Our library serves a city of about 120,000 as well as surrounding >> areas…Unfortunately I can't provide information about the budget, as we're >> on an October-September fiscal year and the city council hasn't adopted >> next year's budget yet. I expect to take a big hit in materials. >> >> --- >> >> I am continuing to buy DVDs but videos as well. We have a very large >> elderly community and I don't know how many of them have DVD players. >> >> The video collection was not well developed when I got here so I am going >> back and buying lots of older titles. I tend to get those in video, >> thinking they will appeal to the more senior users. >> >> With newly released titles I am buying them in DVD. If they are >> tremendously popular I am also buying in VHS. That's not a hard and vast >> rule and I can't give you percentages on any of this. >> >> We are a town of 25,000. I have allocated $6,000 for VHS/DVD. >> >> In my previous library I purchased a lot of non-fiction but I am buying >> much less now because it gets so little use. We do shelve them with the >> non-fiction books. >> >> What is proving to be very popular here are the series of BBC/PBS videos I >> have been buying. >> >> --- >> >> Here are some rough estimates on our collection spending. >> >> 1. What percentage of FICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs. VHS >> (i.e. purchasing 60% DVD, 40% VHS). >> >> …We purchase about 41% DVD and 59% VHS. I thought we were closer to 50/50 >> (and we are with our "popular" titles such as new releases) but the >> non-fiction purchasing tips us back as we do more purchasing of NF in VHS >> format. >> >> 2. What percentage of NONFICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs. >> VHS? >> >> That's a harder % to get at since my budget isn't split out between >> fiction and non-fiction. I'd guess it's about 80% VHS vs. 20% DVD. >> >> 3. A quick note about your library size, video budget, and community >> makeup would be helpful too. >> >> Quick Facts: >> Population… - 265,000 >> Library Cardholders ­ 100,000 >> Non-Print Materials Budget - $435, 600 >> System Video/DVD - $218, 520 >> Cool Video - $29, 000 >> TOTAL VIDEO/DVD: $247, 520 >> >> System Video/DVD purchased for Main Library, 6 neighborhood branches, and >> 2 mini-branches >> >> % Main Library Circulation…­ 42% (378,000 items circ’ed last year) >> Total Items in Collection ­ 33, 800 (33,786) >> Adult Videos ­ 7583 >> Juv Videos ­ 2801 >> Adult DVDs ­ 1119 >> Juv DVDs - 159 >> >> --- >> >> 1. What percentage of FICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs. VHS >> (i.e. purchasing 60% DVD, 40% VHS). For the Adult Services Department >> only, and the video and dvd budgets are separate:Video - Fiction, which >> includes all genres, miniseries and foreign is about 18.5% of the video >> budget - Feature films are $1200, miniseries are $700 and foreign films >> are $700, out of a total video budget of $14,000. For our DVD budget, I >> would say it is probably more like 65% fiction - feature film genres, >> miniseries and foreign. I see this changing as more nonfiction comes out >> on DVD. >> (Also, I have been very bad. I grossly overspent the DVD budget this year.) >> The DVD budget was $4000 this year. I think this is going to change in >> the next couple of years. I have been doing some collection development >> planning for the DVD collection and searching for purchase information for >> feature films. I noticed that a few older titles are not available at all >> on VHS through one of the vendors I use - AEC/CD-1 stop. Also, many older >> titles - Academy Award titles, Tribune best lists, etc., have not yet been >> issued on DVD, or for some of them, vhs. >> >> 2. What percentage of NONFICTION titles are you now purchasing on DVD vs. >> VHS? Video - 72%; DVD - 35% >> >> 3. A quick note about your library size, video budget, and community >> makeup would be helpful too. [Library] has 1 main library, and 2 >> branches, one of which just underwent expansion, plus a brand new >> bookmobile that visits about 30 schools and community sites. Total items >> for all locations is at about 490,000. As of July 2003, our video >> collection at the main library - adult & children's is 10,068, and 583 >> DVDs. For all 3 locations, there are 13.344 videos and 729 DVDs…. >> >> --- >> >> >> Mike Boedicker >> Audiovisual Director & Webmaster >> Danville Public Library >> 319 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL 61832 >> (217) 477-5223 ext. 123 / Fax: (217) 477-5230 >> Library homepage: http://www.danville.lib.il.us >> Personal homepage: http://www.boedicker.net >> >> "There are three sides to every story: my side, your side, and the truth. >> And no one is lying." >> -- Robert Evans >> >> _________________________________________________________________ >> Get a FREE computer virus scan online from McAfee. >> http://clinic.mcafee.com/clinic/ibuy/campaign.asp?cid=3963 >> >> _______________________________________________ >> Videolib mailing list >> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu >> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib > > Gary Handman > Director > Media Resources Center > Moffitt Library > UC Berkeley > ghandman@library.berkeley.edu > http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC > > "In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, > all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of > spectacles." > --Guy Debord > > > _______________________________________________ > Videolib mailing list > Videolib@library.berkeley.edu > http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib

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