[Videolib] Television series in public libraries

Mike Tribby (mike.tribby@quality-books.com)
Thu, 26 Aug 2004 14:58:32 -0500

"we also ONLY buy premium cable and BBC. We get requests for other shows
and if we can't ILL them, we just tell the patrons it is not something we
can get for them. Our budget is better this year than past years, but
buying every season of every show would bankrupt the entire library!"

Do public libraries' circulation figures back up this distinction? We carry
some BBC (through A&E) television series on DVD and we also carry some
rather less edifying titles. I just returned from a title selection meeting
where we discovered that Dr. Quinn Medicine Women has not been selling well
for us at all, whereas sales of Little House On the Prairie seem to be
perking along at a far better rate. Other than the looming presence of
Michael Landon I am at a loss to explain the difference in appeal. We also
carry a fair amount of what I would consider fairly obscure made for TV
movies--some in at least their tenth incarnation (now on DVD!)--and they
outsell what I would consider to be much more highbrow stuff--if one can use
the term "highbrow" with television fare.

Mike Tribby
Senior Cataloger
Quality Books Inc.
The Best of America's Independent Presses