[Videolib] Tee Vee in Academia

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Mon, 30 Aug 2004 08:37:55 -0700

In a research library, using usage as a primary measure of success is a
really dangerous way to go...


:43 AM 8/30/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>Here at Arizona we are not "small" and yet we, too, try to first satisfy the
>needs (often in the form of choices) by our faculty. We currently are
>moving to a model in which we will measure our success in collection
>development (in all areas), at least in part, around usage. While I have
>some real problems with how we will do this in the humanities and some of
>the social sciences (where critical works often do not begin to be used
>heavily for many years, unlike in the sciences, and may then be used heavily
>for decades), I think using this data, at least in part, is important if we
>really want to be a customer-oriented library (in these difficult economic
>Michael Brewer
>German & Slavic Studies and Media Arts Librarian
>University of Arizona Library, A210
>1510 E. University
>P.O. Box 210055
>Tucson, AZ 85721-0055
>Fax 520.621.9733
>Voice 520.307.2771
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Susan Albrecht [mailto:albrechs@wabash.edu]
>Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 7:04 AM
>To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>Subject: Re: [Videolib] Tee Vee in Academia
>Gary wrote:
> >There's an interesting (and disturbing) set of trends and implications in
> >this thread, I think.
> >
> >Institutions in which faculty do most or all of the media recommendation
> >and selection (either by requesting reserve materials or by recommending
> >additions to broader core collections) are probably stuck with that
> >unfortunate model. I can't for the life of me see why some libraries
> >allow faculty to take the upper hand in media selection, when they
> >wouldn't even vaguely think about doing the same for books. Be that as it
> >may...
>Susan Albrecht here:
>Gary, we've had this discussion before. :-) You say "...when they wouldn't
>even vaguely think about doing the same for books." Well, you know
>what? Some of us small liberal arts colleges do just that! I happen to be
>the video *and* book acquisitions "department" (yep, ALL of it). We have a
>student body of 900+ students and a faculty size of 80-something. Because
>of our size (meaning, it's manageable here) and because we expect our profs
>to know what they want/need, they do, indeed, select the books and video
>materials they desire. We use CHOICE as the primary tool for book
>selection, though they're free to request materials from pub ads or any
>source they like. I'd guesstimate that our library staff accounts for
>about 40% of what's ordered each year in the book collection and the
>faculty the other 60%. In the video collection it's even more heavily
>faculty-driven, with probably 80%+ purchased at faculty request. This is
>done in large part because our budget isn't spectacularly large, and we
>want to be sure we can obtain the things they NEED before we get
>"wants." Wabash isn't a poor place (we have a hefty endowment and just
>completed a $130 million capital campaign, which sounds like nothing to big
>university types, but will probably resonate w/ other folks out there at
>small liberal arts colleges), but the budget is a "reality" here as it is at
>most places.
>I realize that you may not be thinking of "us little guys" when you're
>writing on this list, but there are some of us out here, alongside the
>Berkeley's and Iowas and IUs and Marylands. I don't know--would it be
>better if we had sublists or something? I think not, but....
>Gary wrote:
>Buying only those titles recommended by faculty or those needed for a
>specific class neglects the fact that television has completely transformed
>global culture and is going to continue being the focus of intense study
>across disciplines for a long time to come. It may seem downright silly to
>be collecting Buffy as serious grist for study--but, I assure you, it's
>not. These programs MEAN something culturally.
>Susan again:
>It seems as if you are making the assumption that faculty aren't also aware
>of or interested in this trend. Is that fair to assume? I mean, trained
>media specialists know what's out there, it's true. But don't faculty also
>know what's happening in their disciplines? Don't they also watch TV, view
>documentaries, receive information on new films?
>Susan at Wabash College
>Susan Albrecht
>Acquisitions Coordinator
>Wabash College Lilly Library
>Crawfordsville, IN
>"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."--Neil Peart
>Videolib mailing list
>Videolib mailing list

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley


"Movies are poems, a holy bible, the great mother of us."
--Ted Berrigan