RE: [Videolib] lending video and film&quality vs. quantity

Mike Tribby (
Fri, 8 Apr 2005 11:48:13 -0500

Perhaps the difference in our experience is because Michael is at an
academic library, but as a frequent public library user, I routinely request
ILL for videos which are available for purchase. Not so long ago I requested
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, which is nominally available, but not widely held (or
in stores), at least in southern Wisconsin. My public library requested it
and got it without hesitation. The very short check-out time (3 days) was a
hassle, but it's not like this is a video that needs to be viewed over and
over to appreciate it.

On a somewhat related topic, Jessica's question about libraries eschewing
popular feature films while they continue to order works of potboiler
fiction by the likes of John Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark is a good one. A
few years ago when I was more active in VRT than I am now, there was a good
deal of consternation when ALA signed on to Turn Off Your TV Week. One of
the points raised then was why not also sponsor a Put Down Your Trashy Novel
Week if abstaining from TV is such a great idea. Public libraries, at least,
should IMNSHO acquire popular materials in all media. If John Grisham (and
extra copies thereof to keep hold lists down) is a good idea, then so is the
Friends boxed set. Not all of your patrons are likely to have cable or
satellite television access, especially in smaller towns and rural
areas--but in cities, too--and not everyone who's interested is able to be
in front of the tube at the moment the local station decides to rerun a
favorite show.

If we really want video to be on an equal footing with print materials in
libraries, perhaps we should consider giving patrons what they want as well
as providing opportunities for elevating their taste and experience.

Mike Tribby
Senior Cataloger
Quality Books Inc.
The Best of America's Independent Presses

-----Original Message-----
From: Brewer, Michael []
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2005 10:11 AM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] lending video and film

The only time I would ever use ILL for media would be if the title were not
available for purchase. Otherwise it would be more cost effective to just
buy it (in almost all cases, considering how much most all our media that we
have circulates). It would seem odd to me for institutions to request media
material through ILL that they could purchase. Because print circulates
less in general (and there is so much more of it out there), I can
understand why this would not be the case for print.

Do others out there routinely request material (media) that is available for
sale? Or is using ILL for media generally only for OP items?


Michael Brewer
Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian University of Arizona
Library A210 1510 E. University P.O. Box 210055 Tucson, AZ 85721
Voice: 520.307.2771
Fax: 520.621.9733

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Laroi Lawton
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 1:35 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] lending video and film

The problem (while not for some institutions) is copyright, usage, and
demand, just to name a few. I would very much like to lend outside of the
City University of New York but I have to weigh this factor on the title(s)
being requested as my particular media center is a high use unit not only on
my campus but throughout the "University" which comprises of 19 campuses
scattered in each of the five boroughs of New York City. What most of us
also have to consider is the time it will take the item to get back to us as
well as the institution making the request. Do I differentiate between
"public, special, academic"? The question about damaged, stolen and or lost,
from my perspective will always be a part of any media center's problem. No
media library will ever be immune to this so placing the blame or hesitancy
to loan to public libraries will not solve this matter. Quite frankly,
several years ago I loaned one of my titles to one such library out in the
mid-west somewhere.!
The item was returned with no incident. Of course there were some of my
colleagues within my "university" who frowned upon this but in the interest
of promoting media librarianship, and a national but communal relationship,
I acquiesced. This subject, has to a degree, been the bane of all of us but
then again how do you deter lost items, theft, copying, etc.? Some
institutions have been fortunate enough to have a good collection
development in place that allows for a more conducive ILL policy. In other
situations, it is case by case. A recent request from PSU had to be turned
down because the title when I checked it, was one that is used extensively
in several history classes throughout this semester. Speed and timeliness is
another issue. How fast the item is sent, and how fast the item can be
returned is another aspect to this scenario. If there was in place, a method
of getting items to and from one campus ILL unit, be it UCLA or BU, (outside
of FedEx, Express Mail or a! n! y other way without impacting on budgets)
this discussion would probab ly be moot. Do college ILL units purposely
allow losses to happen? I think not. The rules of engagement are simple: you
lose it; you pay for it. How fast can you get the item to us is another
aspect if this should happen. Are there budget packets for such an incident.
And if not-here is where the stink hits the fan so to speak. This should
prove to be a lively discussion as I think most of us have had to deal with
this in one form or another. Personally, in my eleven years as a media
librarian my losses have not come from ILL but from faculty here on my
campus. We are a non-circulating unit of the library but we are open seven
days a week.

LaRoi Lawton
Assistant Professor/Director
The Gerald S. Lieblich Learning Resources Center
Library & Learning Resources Department
Bronx Community College
University Ave. & W 181 Street
Bronx, NY 10453

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Brewer, Michael
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 11:20 AM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] lending video and film


I think it is critical that we figure out how to better allow for the
borrowing of media from other institutions. I think most places that don't
allow borrowing do so because they don't trust that the media will return

Film is being used more and more in courses and in scholarship across
disciplines. Films also often go out of print very quickly and are
damaged/lost/stolen at an exponentially higher rate than other media (at
least in our library). In this new access over ownership environment, film
scholars (and those that use film) end up getting the short end of the
stick: because we (I am speaking of our institution and others like it)
focus on access and put less money into purchasing materials as we did in
the past, if we were not lucky enough to purchase all the films that our
faculty would need in the future at the time of their release (and that is
never possible with the funds we are given) and even if none of those films
were stolen, lost or damaged, our faculty do not have the same access to
items (films) we don't own through ILL as our print oriented faculty have.

It seems that, were clear stipulations on use (or levels of use) defined for
media loaned through ILL (perhaps some would loan only if the film were to
be used in a class or would remain in the library, or even, forgive me
public libraries, would only be loaned to academic libraries, etc.).
Perhaps such gradations of use already exist. I don't know. Because ILL is
a separate unit in our library, I have very little to do with what goes on
there. I have, however, spoken with them about the issue of getting copies
of videos that we owned but were lost, stolen or damaged and are not
available for sale from other libraries (so we could make a legal copy) and
was told that ILL departments often can make special loan agreements on a
case by case basis for things like this (to borrow an out of print video
from a library that usually doesn't loan videos in order to make a legal
copy in house).

Does VRT make recommendations to national ILL groups? How much control do
other media librarians have over whether or not their collections are loaned
out through ILL? If you have had control over this and have not allowed
your collection to be loaned out, why not? What are the issues/impediments?
Are there horror stories of what has happened when titles were loaned out,
even with strict limitations on their use?



Michael Brewer
Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian University of Arizona
Library A210 1510 E. University P.O. Box 210055 Tucson, AZ 85721
Voice: 520.307.2771
Fax: 520.621.9733

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Bergman, Barbara
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 4:11 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] lending video and film

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


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

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