RE: [Videolib] Closed vs Open Stacks

Jen Stutesman (
Tue, 06 Feb 2007 16:56:22 -0800

>>>Our administration is looking in to the possibility of open stacks
our collection in the future. Right now, our collection is stored
behind the counter and we go and get the titles. We have over 8000 vhs
and dvd titles for a campus population of 28,000+ students. They are not

LC catalogued. We would still house any titles placed on Reserve for
students to watch in the Library behind the counter.

We need to investigate the pros and cons of having titles in open
shelving outside the office area in
some kind of secured cases. What is everyone doing?

>>Do you have open or closed stacks?

Both. I inherited about a 2500 VHS collection cataloged by accession
number, about 5 years ago. Now, we have expensive / rare / oop stuff in
closed stacks, and feature films and non-fiction videos (PBS, History
Channel, etc) and DVDs in open stacks. It's a much bigger broader
collection now. :-)

>>>Do you use locking cases?

Nope. We do use magnetic strips on the VHSs. We keep the DVDs in Tyvek
envelopes behind the counter in acrylic display cases, organized
alphabetically. We had so many scanning and read errors using the 3m
double security strips, we stopped that. So far, I've been unconvinced
that buying and using lockable boxes is any easier, cheaper or time
saving than the current set-up, so I haven't made the expenditure. Our
theft is just as low without the strips as with. Maybe when the
collection gets so big that we have no more room behind the counter, but
that's a way out.

>>>Do you just display the insert and have the disc itself behind the
counter? Yep. I put the box out. Sometimes the original box looks like
it won't survive 2 circs, so I change it to an Amaray box.

>>>Do your titles have LC call numbers?
Open stack does. I've just started this week to catalog closed stacks
videos in LC, not continuing the accession number system I inherited
when I got here. 10 DVDs down, approximately 3500 to go! :-O (Not sure
how that's going to work with faculty - some of them can't remember the
title or accession number of the video they use every quarter, **but
they know where it is on the shelf in the closed stack room***.)

>>>Any words of wisdom?

Video collection is an iterative process. My policies and processing
have come about based on the money I have, knowledge of my students and
faculty's use of the collection, and the time I have to maintain the
collection. I know a lot of people on the list use the 3m strips and
have no problems with them. So, YMMV. :-)

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.