Re: [Videolib] separating VHS and DVD formats

LeeAnne Krause (
Tue, 03 May 2005 10:01:14 -0400

I'd say that the question of whether to interfile the formats and what
kind of call numbering system you use, depends heavily on whether you
plan to have open stacks or not. If you allow your patrons access to
the stacks, then it would be better to arrange the films by subject
matter (LC, Dewey, etc), and probably interfile the VHS and DVD so that
they can see what all you have on the same topic.

If you have closed stacks, then it makes more sense to arrange the
shelving according to what is convenient for the staff, whatever that
may be. For us, we have closed stacks, and the tapes are mostly in
plain black cases anyway, so we don't bother with LC. We just have
accession numbering, which is really useful to determine the approximate
age of a tape or DVD. And we do separate out the formats.

Another issue is how much room you have in your stacks. If you have a
lot of room, then you can do whatever you want. We don't have that
luxury, so we have to work around that limitation. This is where
accession numbering really shines--if you have accession, then you don't
have to leave space in the stacks for new films in that subject. If you
do LC, and you get a bunch of new items on a certain subject, then you
have to move all the other materials to make space, and that's a real
bummer. Also, space is why we separate VHS and DVD. The DVDs are
taller, so you can get fewer DVD shelves on a unit. You can put VHS
shelves closer together.

Of course the tradeoff is that when a patron wants 4 different films by
the same director, then you have to go all over the stacks to retrieve
them. There is no right answer on this question--just do whatever works
for you.


LeeAnne L. Krause, Manager
Educational Films Collection
University of South Carolina

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>>> 5/2/2005 4:34:16 PM >>>
At the Otis Library, we interfile VHS and DVD. Our collection is in
stacks (almost everything we have that is cataloged is in the stacks),
is browsed by many people. Most people are looking for things to
and many don't care if it is DVD or VHS.

For classification, we don't use LC or an accession number, although it
loosely based on LC. The first line is always Video. The second line
the section, ie F for Feature Film, AA or Art and Artists, D for
Documentary, AN for Animation, M for Music Videos, V for Video Art, T
Television, as well as a few other categories. The third line starts
a letter, either based on title, or the last name of the Artists or
if it is a Documentary or Video Art, and is followed by a number to
them in alphabetical order (note in my descriptions, I am not a
cataloger). After that we may have another line if there is multiple
videos within one Artist or a similar situation, volume numbers, and
line for [DVD] if it is a DVD.

The system works well for us, it's easy to explain, similar enough to
that it doesn't confuse patrons, and makes it fairly easy to find items
the collection even if you don't know the call number.

Matthew Ballard
Library Technologist
Otis College of Art and Design Library

At 02:19 PM 4/30/2005, you wrote:
>I've noticed that academic libraries arrange their media sections in a

>variety of ways and was wondering if anyone could give some advise as
>which system works best.
>Does integrating VHS and DVD formats work well for anyone or is it
best to
>keep them separated?
>Also, as for a classification system, most libraries seem to use a
>numeric system such as DVD 12, DVD 13, VHS 25, VHS 26 etc., while I
>seem some that assign LC numbers, thus integrating formats. Which
>do you think is preferred?
>Thank you very much,
>Tanya De Angelis
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