RE: [Videolib] Previewing videos "on approval" charges/fee policy

Bergman, Barbara J (barbara.bergman@mnsu.edu)
Thu, 18 Sep 2003 16:22:33 -0500

We have a rental/preview account out of the Library's funds, not
departmental. If you penalize the departments for preview fees, it seems
that they're more likely to just order it without previewing.

Because we often find the situation that you describe--a title that
sounds good on paper is not acceptable for whatever reason -- I
encourage previews for the pricey titles.
When possible, I first push the faculty person a review (from Video
Librarian or EMRO) to help them learn more about the title & decide
whether it seems worth getting the preview copy.
As you mention, paying an invoice for the 5% fee you mention is often a
complicated matter that takes more staff time than it does just to buy
something.

As for the priciple of it... I do not agree with preview fees. I've
recently learned that more of the major vendors are planning to charge a
preview fee, over and above postage costs, for previews. If I have to
mess with fees, I'm likely to look for a different--and most likely
cheaper--source for the subject matter. If I'm being asked to pay $250
or more for a video, I expect to be able to test drive the product.

Don't know if this helps you, but I feel better now that I've vented.
<grin>

Barb Bergman
Media Services Librarian
Minnesota State University-Mankato
(507) 389-5945

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