Well, the surveys are in...I'm going to try to summarize the gist of
the rather varied responses...this ain't survey-taking at it's most
precise, I gotta say, but it's rather interesting in a broad sort of way.
Eleven institutions and one consortium (19 institutions) responded
that they were involved in one way or another in some type of digital
video projects and/or operations. Not surprisingly, perhaps, all 12
were academic, four year institutions. One reporting institution was
from outside the US.
The average number of commercially licensed titles currently
accessible online seems to be somewhere between 10 and 30 (although
the average number of titles actually licensed tends to be
somewhat--sometimes considerably--higher) The spread reported for
licensed titles currently being served up is between 6 and 1200 (!)
Films Media Group is the most commonly reported content
provider. Others include
California Newsreel (2 institutions)
PBS/WGBH (2 institutions)
Media Education Foundation (2 institutions)
Chip Taylor (2 institutions)
Direct Cinema (1 institutions)
Carousel (1 institutions)
Documentary Educational Resources (1 institutions)
Berkeley Media (1 institution)
ArtMatten (1 institution)
For FMG titles, only one institution reported providing access via
FMG's server--the rest mount the files locally (or
regionally). Except for the one institution mentioned, FMG users
reported either buying FMG-encoded files or licensing the right to
Several institutions reported local digitization of
commercially-produced content in course reserve/learning management
system contexts under provisions of TEACH or fair use. Two
institutions indicated the practice of digitizing and providing
access to rare/unique or out of distribution titles (under Section
Several institutions reported providing access to locally-produced
digital video content (campus lectures, events, etc.). Content of
this type seems to be largely produced by units outside the library.
About half of the respondents limit access to specific courses (i.e.
within an LMS shell). Only one or two institutions reported making
content available beyond campus/institutional IP addresses over the internet.
Digital format vary. 4 institutions are using mpeg4 (either solely
or in addition to other formats). 3 institutions are using Windows
Media (either solely or in addition to other formats). 3
institutions are using Real (either solely or in addition to other
formats). 2 institutions are using QuickTime (either solely or in
addition to other formats). Flash was mentioned, but is apparently
not currently in use by any of the repondents' institutions. One
institution indicated experimenting with a java-based "playerless
The majority of respondents indicated that digital titles were
(mostly) represented in the campus OPAC. Three institutions
indicated that digital titles were also accessible via separate web
interfaces or databases.
No real surprises... Think we're still at the dawn of the brave new age.
Media Resources Center
"In societies where modern conditions of production prevail,
all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of
Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"
VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.