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

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Fri, 22 Apr 2005 17:23:16 -0700

Perfectly and wonderfully eloquent (if profoundly depressing).

And you're right Mark, the need for engagement with content, good judgment,
and commitment to public service never become obsolete. These things
don't become irrelevant, they often become bureaucratic and budgetary
casualties in libraries.

Gary

I am in deep denial about Sally's retirement.

At 05:57 PM 4/22/2005 -0500, you wrote:
>Tova brings the thread full circle - the incredible shrinking pool of FULL
>TIME media librarians is being accelerated by imminent retirements (and
>recent retirements like mine) and the trend toward media collection
>management becoming under the heading of "other duties." There must be a
>doctoral thesis in here someplace. We learned and grew up with the visual
>media, as someone on the list pointed out . . . now we leave with few left
>behind to gather and use our accumulated knowledge. Through no fault of
>our own - Boards, Administrators and the Powers That Be drive this change,
>making decisions based on different criteria than we would like.
> Ironic isn't it? In most endeavors your skills are rendered useless
> by advances in technology - buggy whip makers lost jobs when the auto
> replaced buggies. Color film technicians were replaced by automation. The
> skill of producing quality four color Diazo transparencies was replaced
> by PowerPoint. But here, while media explodes with different iterations,
> new technical advancements in storage, preservation and distribution, and
> a growing base of independent and social issue producers - the need for
> people to organize and make media accessible to the huddled masses is
> made irrelevant.
> Boy, that's a downer, isn't it . . . .
>
> Sally Mason - retiring? Say it ain't so. There will be a
> disturbance in the Force of Biblical proportions!
>
> M.L. Richie (without the t)
>
>
>
>Tova Aragon wrote:
>
>>Jessica - not a stupid question at all. For me, it is the same balancing
>>act whatever the format = meeting the demand for the popular bestsellers,
>>providing access to other quality materials and staying within my budget.
>>I am lucky in that whatever I buy circulates. We have a strong calling
>>for foreign, independent and award winning films. Documentaries are very
>>popular too. To help stretch my budget, our holds (reserve) lists are
>>allowed to grow longer.
>>
>>I have enjoyed reading this discussion. I am not officially a media
>>librarian. Media collection development is under my "other duties" assigned.
>>
>>
>>Tova Aragon
>>Adult Services Lead Librarian
>>Fort Collins Public Library
>>201 Peterson
>>Fort Collins, Colorado 80524
>>970-224-6164
>>
>>Opinions are my own...
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>>From: Jessica Rosner <jrosner@kino.com>
>>>Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>>To: videolib <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
>>>Subject: Re: [Videolib] Quality vs. quantity -- was Wired for Retirement
>>>Date: Thu, 07 Apr 2005 16:20:45 -0500
>>>
>>>This is probably a stupid question but for some of us non librarians how
>>>would this compare to print materials i.e. how many copies do you order of
>>>a Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark vs. less popular serious fiction & non
>>>fiction?
>>>
>>>Jessica
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> > "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?"
>>> >
>>> > 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
>>> > year.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > "Any political issues -- such as video budget linked to number
>>> > circulated?"
>>> >
>>> > 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
>>> > people.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Peter Cartford
>>> > AV Librarian
>>> > Johnson County Library
>>> > Overland Park, KS
>>> > 913-495-2496
>>> > cartfordp@jocolibrary.org
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > -----Original Message-----
>>> > From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > [mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Bergman,
>>> > Barbara J
>>> > Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 5:29 PM
>>> > To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > 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?
>>> >
>>> > Barb
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > -----Original Message-----
>>> > From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > [mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Susan Lacey
>>> > Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 3:20 PM
>>> > To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > Subject: RE: [Videolib] Wired for Retirement
>>> >
>>> > Check out the Miami-Dade Public Library System's catalog (www.mdpls.org)
>>> > 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
>>> > laceys@mdpls.org
>>> > www.mdpls.org
>>> > "Delivering Excellence Every Day"
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > -----Original Message-----
>>> > From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > [mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Christopher
>>> > Lewis
>>> > Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 2:46 PM
>>> > To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > 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
>>> > 202.885.3257
>>> > AIM: congolene
>>> >
>>> > If you have no money, be polite.
>>> > - Danish proverb
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > "Blaine Waterman"
>>> >
>>> > <bwaterman@sfpl.o
>>> >
>>> > rg>
>>> > To
>>> > Sent by: <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
>>> >
>>> > videolib-bounces@
>>> > cc
>>> > library.berkeley.
>>> >
>>> > edu
>>> > Subject
>>> > RE: [Videolib] Wired for
>>> > Retirement
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > 04/06/2005 12:49
>>> >
>>> > PM
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Please respond to
>>> >
>>> > videolib@library.
>>> >
>>> > berkeley.edu
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Gary,
>>> > 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
>>> > (415)557-4461
>>> > bwaterman@sfpl.org
>>> >
>>> > -----Original Message-----
>>> > From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > [mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Gary Handman
>>> > Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 8:14 AM
>>> > To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > 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.
>>> > 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 here)/
>>> >
>>> > 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.
>>> > Anyone
>>> >> else have phased retirement at their institutions?
>>> >>
>>> >> Jerry
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> _______________________________________________
>>> >> Videolib mailing list
>>> >> Videolib@library.berkeley.edu
>>> >> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib
>>> >
>>> > Gary Handman
>>> > Director
>>> > Media Resources Center
>>> > Moffitt Library
>>> > UC Berkeley
>>> > ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
>>> > http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
>>> >
>>> > ****
>>> >
>>> > "Movies are poems, a holy bible, the great mother of us."
>>> > --Ted Berrigan
>>> >
>>> > _______________________________________________
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>>> > http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib
>>> >
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>>> > http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/videolib
>>> >
>>> >
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE
>>>
>>>Jessica Rosner
>>>Kino International
>>>333 W 39th St. 503
>>>NY NY 10018
>>>jrosner@kino.com
>>>212-629-6880
>>>
>>>
>>>_______________________________________________
>>>Videolib mailing list
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>>
>>
>>
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>
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Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

****

"Movies are poems, a holy bible, the great mother of us."
--Ted Berrigan

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