[Videolib] Riddle me this

Ciara Healy (cmhealy@waketech.edu)
Thu, 23 Feb 2006 14:03:01 -0500

I recently posted tot his list regarding my purchase of a
for-home-viewing PBS video for my college library. I got excellent and
quick responses alon the lines of :"for educational use - to show in
class as part of the curriculum - it is fine" and this has opened up
another set of questions for me.

We lend media to professors, sometimes for a whole semester. This
seems to frustrate the "only to show in class" part of the educational
use. I ask myself.. should we be lending out videos for classrom use
ONLY - like for two hours at a time or one or two class periods at a
time - for months at a time?

I suspect that professors check out the videos for months at a time
because they can. Mainly so that they can save themselves a trip to the
library to pick up or return items with in the confines of the regular
library loan period of three weeks. For that matter, why three weeks? If
they want to show a video during class, even two class periods, why
check it out to them for more than the class periods or the two days
they want to show it? I can book their videos for a custom amount of
time, but sometimes they request 3 or 4 months. I know they are not
using it every class period for that amount of time. I also am pretty
sure they are not holding profit making public performances of it
either...but still.

The larger philosophical point here is about policing copyright. I have
not been deputized by the feds to police copyright beyond my own active
law breaking; like not copying protected material so that staff may keep
one in their office for convenience sake. Should I presume that the
burden is on the professor to use the video appropriately only in class?
Yes. But how does that fit with super long check out periods? Shouldn't
videos/DVDs thereby have really, really short checkout periods? To
encourage..umm.. lawfulness?

OK - maybe I want an excuse to block grabby professors who want to
basically own the videos after the library buys them.

I am working on revising my media policy and probably have been
thinking about lending policies waaay too much lately.

Ciara Healy
Media Services Librarian

Bruce I. Howell Library
Wake Technical Community College
9101 Fayetteville Road
Raleigh, NC 27603

(919) 773-4724

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