Re: [Videolib] Netflix - again

Ciara Healy (
Wed, 14 Feb 2007 14:01:09 -0500

I've had a NetFlix subscription since last semester and here's why I
like it, in terms of collection development:

1. Instructors often want something right now or "by next class" and
if it is not already in my collection, I can't buy it quick. With
NetFlix I can - or offer them the option.

2. Instructors can preview material they might like to use in class
without the pesky problem of them just keeping the item and then billing
the library as used to happen here. We don't do "previews" from
distributors anymore because instructors may not like a film they
preview yet never get around to sending it back or returning it to the
library to be sent back and now we own something expensive we don't
use/need/want. usually finds its way back to the library in any case.
With NetFlix, instructors get the fact that they need to turn around the
item quickly - the rental script works while the preview script does

3. While NetFlix is purely supplementary to my collection, I do use it
as a development tool - if the instructor likes an item enough to use
again after getting it via NetFlix, I will certainly buy it and add it
to my excellent, deep and wide collection.

My NetFlix subscription meets my instructors behavioral needs as much
if not more than my collection development needs, though it can do that
too. In that way - for $20 a month - it is an incredibly cheap, easy and
delightful solution. A bargain at twice the price. And the instructors
feel as though they are getting a perk, which they love, which increases
the love of the library, which I love.

It's more like ordering out for pizza to feed the people in line who
are crabbing about how they are starving and wait to eat and can't get
seated anyway at the pizzeria. It isn't about the pizza, it is about
access to the seats and the impatient don't-want-to-make-a-reservation
irate customers.
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.