[Videolib] Television series in public libraries

Renee Zurn (rzurn@duluth.lib.mn.us)
Thu, 26 Aug 2004 16:33:31 -0500

This is a tricky one. I have given myself only general guidelines to
follow since the market is always changing, with new shows being
released, usually on DVD.
First, I decided not to purchase any more television shows on VHS.
They take up much more space then DVD and it is hard to know how to
have them circulate - at a set; as a single video - and how to judge the
replacement cost if you lose part of the series. This means since I own
many of the Star Trek and early British comedies on VHS I will not
purchase them on DVD. I will consider replacing them with DVD when the
time comes.
I have ordered some television shows - usually the older ones -
that are award winners and would appeal to a broad audience (I Love Lucy
Show, Dick Van Dyke Show).
I also consider any show a patron requests for purchase. I
purchased both "Northern Exposure" and "West Wing" based on requests and
their awards. I also decided to order "The Walton's" when it was
requested, partly because of the reviews for the show but also because
of the popularity of the "Anne of Green Gables" and "Little House on the
Prairie" shows. I decided not to purchase "CSI" since it is available
on local TV as reruns and, with the spinoffs currently on TV, not
The other factors I consider: Has the show won many awards? How
unique is the show? What does it cost? How many seasons will I need to
purchase? Does it have broad appeal like the "I Love Lucy Show"
(purchased) or more limited appeal like "The Shield" (not purchased)? I
have also decided (after discussion with our ILL department) to order
some shows because they are very high demand and hard to ILL. I am
purchasing "Sex in the City" for this reason. Some shows I purchased
because staff recommended them and they are not available on regular TV
- "Six Feet Under" and "Monarch of the Glen" are this type.

I how this helps. Please let me know if you come up with a policy for
you library.

Renee Zurn
Duluth Public Library
Duluth MN 55802