RE: [Videolib] Wired for Retirement

Christopher Lewis (
Wed, 6 Apr 2005 14:46:08 -0400

An interesting nugget of information I heard a speaker mention at Computers
in Libraries a few weeks is that 40-50% of public library circulation is
from their VHS/DVD/CD collections. That number struck me as remarkably
high. Can it possibly be accurate? If so, why have media librarians
especially in public libraries become expendable? Are these statistics
being pumped up with best-sellers and new releases? Has quality given way
to quantity? Who guides video collection development in public libraries
without media specialists, the vendors?

Chris Lewis
Media Librarian/Humanities Collection Manager
American University Library
AIM: congolene

If you have no money, be polite.
- Danish proverb

"Blaine Waterman"
rg> To
Sent by: <>
videolib-bounces@ cc
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RE: [Videolib] Wired for Retirement

04/06/2005 12:49

Please respond to

I share your concerns for the profession generally, at least public
libraries. A large chunk of current librarians started in the 70s and
will soon retire. With relentless state and local budget cutting and a
common (mis)perception that the Internet IS a library, I would not be
surprised if many retirees go unreplaced.

Blaine Waterman
AV Center Librarian
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Gary Handman
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 8:14 AM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Wired for Retirement

So, if we're all jumping ship in scant few years, who's gonna mind the
media store?

This could, indeed, be an interesting thread of discussion. Seriously.
seems to me that, despite the enormous impact media has had on global
culture at large, despite the fact that media collections in libraries
growing exponentially, the ranks of librarians trained for and assigned
selecting and managing media collections have, if anything, diminished
the last 30 years. (I go on about this at great lengths in the
introduction to Video Collection Development (Greenwood, 2002), so I
belabor it here)/

The point is: many of us who came of professional age at the dawn of
video revolution in the late 1970s are now of an age where we're
the big R. I fret periodically about training for future media
I fret even more about the tendency of libraries to feel that format
specialization among professionals is either not needed or not


OK, on another tact. In skimming over the latest issue of American
Libraries yesterday, I noticed at least THREE articles having to do with

intellectual freedom challenges to videos or to broadcast programming.
would really like to see the Video Round Table consider getting more
involved with the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom as an advocacy
body. Seems to me that VRT could be doing a lot more to assert national

leadership in media matters. The Notables are one wonderful way that
moved in this direction. I think VRT could be doing more.

Gary Handman

At 08:23 AM 4/6/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>We have phased retirement by contract here at USF which I plan to do.
>else have phased retirement at their institutions?
>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

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