RE: [Videolib] lending video and film

Bergman, Barbara J (
Wed, 6 Apr 2005 18:11:19 -0500

Most of you have heard my pro-ILL soapbox speech before but...

We starting lending 3 years ago. It's been a very positive experience.
As we all know, video collections are expensive. No library can possibly own every video any more than it can have afford every book.

We lend videos with minimal restrictions. (The one unbreakable restriction is that it doesn't go out if there's an upcoming booking.)
We follow a reciprocal borrowing/lending policy in that we only borrow material types that they will lend and vice versa. This is fairly common for ILL (especially when it comes to charging a fee for lending). In translation: We only lend videos to requesting libraries who allow us access to their videos in exchange.
The first year, we compiled a list of all titles loaned and borrowed -- it was a fascinating mix of educational titles and feature films. We've consistently borrowed twice as many videos as we've lent each semester.
Re: older formats. We will lend 16mm films on a case-by-case basis. Most of the time when ILL staff replies with "Did you know this is a 16mm film?" the response is "never mind I thought it was a videotape..."

For policy, the VRT and ACRL have published guidelines that suggest video ILL  practices:

Guidelines for Media Resources in Academic Libraries (1999)

5.1 Media resources should be accessible through resource sharing, in accordance with the ALA Video Round Table Guidelines for the Interlibrary Loan of Audiovisual Formats.
Commentary: Many libraries treat media collections as special collections and prohibit their interlibrary loan. However, library users benefit when media collections are included in resource-sharing programs. No library can meet all of its users' needs for media resources, but libraries are reluctant to lend to our users if we do not lend to their users. The guidelines recognize that some materials may be excluded, but in general, there is no reason to exclude entire formats from interlibrary lending.

VRT Guidelines for the Interlibrary Loan of Audiovisual Formats (1997)


Barb Bergman
Media Services Librarian
Minnesota State University-Mankato
(507) 389-5945

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