Re: [Videolib] brave new medialand

Ciara Healy (
Fri, 04 May 2007 16:52:28 -0400

"If you could design a perfect college media resources department, what
would you create?
In terms of listening/viewing space, staffing, services, and collection
development, and preservation of old formats?"

Machines for viewing by yourself (perhaps even portable dvd players for
those who want to go to another part of the library) with cushy
headphones and group viewing rooms that are sound dampened. A classroom
viewing room that can show 16mm films and have theater style seating and
surround sound and the seats would have those little flip-up writing
desks so students can take notes while watching. And give them someplace
to stick their gum. I would buy up pretty much everything I could afford
but my weeding policy would be merciless. I'd collect TV shows, all
kinds of films, all kinds of formats, even laser discs. My circulation
policy would be somewhat generous but enforced no matter the status of
the patron. That is, professors would not be able to hoard interesting
titles and students only access the dregs. I would have a biggish staff
and student workers who would do ALL the shelving and furthermore, I'd
shelve alphabetically since the student workers might not like LC or
Dewey as much as they like the ABC's. And I'd have closed stacks, which
I think is totally OK because people can use the catalog which I also
think is totally OK. But I'd want to build or add features to my catalog
so that I could have a similarity function, images of the media covers
and patrons could form queues of films they want next and get
notification e-mails. Kind of like tag clouds of movie titles too. I
would have workshops to show people how to weave their old cassette tape
into wall hangings and turn old slides into lamps and old vinyl into
fruit bowls in the oven. I would also digitize the heck out of
everything I could - scan slides, digitize old records all of it - but
not become a dusty, unused archive. The line between media librarian and
crazy accumulator would not be crossed. I would be able to afford so
much PPR that film makers would ask me if they could watch their own
films. I would have film festivals al the time and show lots of stuff
and solicit home made films from students. I would also have all kinds
of graphics and media equipment in a lab for students to use or even
check out. Even old Super 8 cameras. I would have classes on editing
software and audio too - and podcasting and Camtasia too. And the IT
department would have to ask film makers to ask me for stuff because
they would feel like they couldn't really ask me for stuff because my
department would be so awesome. I would collect video games too. And the
machines to play them on. And have old school Atari tournaments.

And it would be totally awesome.

And people's pets could come to work with them, too. And the work study
kids would all have to bribe each other with Linden Dollars to get jobs
in my department.
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.