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

Cartford, Peter, JCL (
Thu, 7 Apr 2005 14:45:46 -0500

"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

The DVD tsunami has carried us far in the direction of emphasizing
popular titles, in quantity, over pretty much anything else, and I'm
concerned about that. We've managed to retain some balance on the movie
end of things by passing over lesser-quality current release titles and
buying classic English-language and foreign films systematically to make
sure the collection has real depth to it. The problem is that
'lesser-known titles that aren't easily available' is a good description
for much of our non-movie video collection. Used to be that our
spending favored non-movie titles; now it strongly favors movies. That
needs to be fixed and will be when I make budget allocations for next

"Any political issues -- such as video budget linked to number

No formulaic link of budget to circ for any collection. But patron
demand is a factor in budget decisions. I asked for a significant
increase in '05 funding for DVD and got it--in part a recognition that
movie-watching has replaced reading as a leisure time activity for many

Peter Cartford
AV Librarian
Johnson County Library
Overland Park, KS

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Bergman,
Barbara J
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 5:29 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


-----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
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
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

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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