RE: [Videolib] Quality vs. quantity -- was Wired for Retirement

Griest, Bryan (
Wed, 6 Apr 2005 17:21:39 -0700

We have fights about this (between librarians, not patrons) topic. Some of
my colleagues argue that the library should only have non-commercial items,
or at most items that can't be found at Blockbuster. Since our collection is
funded by our Friends of the Library group and must be self-sustaining, that
philosophy doesn't work too well. I am lucky enough that our patrons are
willing/able to pay our fee, so I can "siphon off" a bunch of the resulting
profits to buy the non-fiction/"non-popular" titles--I try to use about 1/2
of my budget for each. I've been able to grow both halves of the collection
fairly rapidly this past year, as the FOL rentals brought in $20K for my

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Bergman, Barbara
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 3:29 PM
Subject: [Videolib] Quality vs. quantity -- was Wired for Retirement

A question probably more for public librarians...
Just out of curiosity --

At your library, how do you balance the purchase of "popular" items that can
be found at any video store versus the lesser-known titles that aren't
easily available? Any political issues -- such as video budget linked to
number circulated?


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Susan Lacey
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 3:20 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Wired for Retirement

Check out the Miami-Dade Public Library System's catalog ( to
see the kind of titles that circulate. Patrons want popular movies, just
like they want popular books. The public pays for library materials through
their taxes; they should get what they want, be it DVDs, books, audio books,
language instruction materials, Internet access computers, etc. As a
Collection Development librarian in a large urban public library, I must be
in touch with what my customers want, be it "high-brow" or "low-brow"
materials or anything in between.

And, I'm a long way from retirement, unless I win the lottery.

Susan J. Lacey, Librarian II
Collection Development Department
Miami-Dade Public Library System
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 33130
PH: (305)375-5008 FAX: (305)375-3048
"Delivering Excellence Every Day"

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Christopher
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 2:46 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Wired for Retirement

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"


Sent by: <>


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

This could, indeed, be an interesting thread of discussion. Seriously. It
seems to me that, despite the enormous impact media has had on global
culture at large, despite the fact that media collections in libraries are
growing exponentially, the ranks of librarians trained for and assigned to
selecting and managing media collections have, if anything, diminished in
the last 30 years. (I go on about this at great lengths in the introduction
to Video Collection Development (Greenwood, 2002), so I won't belabor it

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


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. I
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 we've
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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