RE: [Videolib] Floating Collections

Blackburn, Alison (
Thu, 1 Apr 2004 14:40:18 -0500


Our rotating/traveling collections used to be "tailor made" for three
clusters of large/medium branches and one cluster of smaller branches.
Larger branches would receive 100 titles and the smaller branches would
receive 50 titles, three times a year. Selection was done with these
locations in mind. For instance, I may have selected a title for four of our
permanent collections and two for our traveling collections. When these
items were checked out they would return to their "owning branches". If they
belonged to a traveling collection, they would return to the branch that
housed that particular collection during the three month period. When the
rotation was complete, they were assigned "home" branches.

The floating collection concept is as you describe below - the item resides
at the branch where it is returned. For the time being I am assigning a
"point of origin" location, but the material floats from then on. In a sense
many of the newer titles, particularly on DVD, float for months because they
are always on request. We have had positive feedback from some
branches/patrons who are happy to see new/different material on a more
regular basis, but we have yet to define a "maintenance" strategy that will
help to ensure a balance. Some branches have to store titles on trucks
because their shelves are packed, while the collection at the main branch
seems to be dwindling.

Hope this helps.


-----Original Message-----
From: James Scholtz []
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 12:04 PM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Floating Collections

Hi - I'm interested in the "floating" concept but am confused by your
description as to how it differs from the rotating collections of the
bygone VHS era (or soon to be bygone). Some library systems have
instituted a "floating concept" whereby each library originates their own
collection (meaning purchases) but the patron can return that item to any
branch where it stays until the next patron checks it out, possibly
returning it to yet another library/branch. Would make for some
interesting collection development issues like where do all the martial
arts titles end up? I would think that circulation trend tracking,
overdues, and inventory might be more difficult in this scenario. Please
give me a heads up on your concept of "floating collections." Thanks. Jim

At 10:44 AM 4/1/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>Our public library system (33 branches - urban and rural) has recently
>initiated a pilot project to "float" certain collections, including adult
>videos and DVDs. This is a move away from the traveling collections we used
>to have, which involved rotating blocks of videos at three-month intervals
>to some of the smaller branches in our system.
>The pilot is about three months underway and the results, so far, have
>indicated that the collection at our main branch is down about 1500 videos
>feature films and non-fiction titles. The main branch seems to be a key
>up point, but not as popular as a drop off point.
>In order to further assess how this may impact materials delivery we are
>moving to "float" more of the AV collection - adult music on CD and perhaps
>adult books on tape and CD.
>I would love to hear from any other libraries with floating/shared AV
>collections, and would be particularly interested in hearing
>feedback/comments about the following:
> What are your thoughts about floating non-fiction VHS/DVD titles?
> How have you managed to balance your collections?
> How do you address collection gaps and/or specific requests from
> Has there been a significant impact on materials delivery?
>Thanks very much.
>Alison Blackburn
>AV Librarian - Collection Development
>Ottawa Public Library
>120 Metcalfe Street
>Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M2
>(613) 236-0302, ext 515
>Videolib mailing list

James C. Scholtz, Director
Yankton Community Library
515 Walnut St.
Yankton, SD 57078

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