Re: [Videolib] "Green" DVD Packaging

Ciara Healy (healyc@uwosh.edu)
Mon, 03 Nov 2008 14:15:07 -0600

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Well.. if you really want to know...
=20
Ironically, the film An Inconvenient Truth was particularly problemat=
ic for me in this regard. It came to my library in a very slim recycl=
able cardboard sleeve which is super for the environment but not so g=
reat for circulating, browsing or affixing a call number to the spine=
for easy shelving. I cut up the cardboard sleeve and put the front a=
nd back in a clear DVD holder with a clear sleeve and then made a kin=
d of liner so that I could add the title to the spine. The I put the =
spine label on per usual and put it on the shelf, in call number orde=
r, there by completely subverting the whole eco-friendliness of the c=
ase. And it ended up looking frankenstein-ish and unattractive. Sadly=
.
=20
I had to do a similar thing with the Gaiam /Mayo Clinic "wellness sol=
utions" series which turned out better but was a lot more work. They =
were all standard sized DVD cases - which is great - but made out of =
a kind of textured cardboard material, like some egg cartons. I had t=
o scan every cover (there had to be at least 8 ot 10 in that series) =
and then put them in more durable, plastic covers for circulation. (F=
irst I tried to cram the front and back cardboard covers into the DVD=
case sleeves and that didn't work so well. Busted one of the case sl=
eeves.) It took a long time to get them to look right. And the import=
ant, pretty, extra information that accompanied the different discs h=
ad to be jettisoned. There isn't always an easy way to faithfully inc=
lude all of the cover information and booklets.
=20
The multiple stickers we have to affix during processing also obscure=
s a lot of the info. And it is worse the slimmer or double-sided the =
cardboard covers are. For example, every single DVD gets a library ow=
nership label, spine title label, smaller call number spine label, se=
cond title and call number label for the inside, barcode sticker, a d=
ue-date stamping area, maybe a "do not duplicate" label or whatever a=
nd perhaps a label reminding patrons to "return to circ desk" rather =
than putting it in the book drop. Oh - and the security strip. The po=
or things looked like one of those old suitcases with all of the hote=
l labels plastered on them. It makes it hard sometimes to actually re=
ad the description on the back. And you get nothing from the inside c=
overs either. So then you feel compelled to add the full description =
=66rom the back and inside covers in the catalog record as a note, wh=
ich is time consuming and can even be obscured if the OPAC only displ=
ays a brief record as the first result. It feels like an exercise in=
futility just to give the user the most info and the film a chance t=
o be chosen and checked out. Which is the goal, of course. That is wh=
y I color-scanned the covers for those Gaiam DVDs so that they were a=
ttractive and eye-catching on the shelf. Students see a black-and-whi=
te photocopied cover and it is like the item is invisible.=20
=20
This is probably way less of a problem for closed stacks collections =
where students may never see the original cases. I had a browsing col=
lection and a closed stacks section and even in the closed stacks I t=
ried to keep the covers intact because other librarians also got them=
for patrons and students shelved and all of that cover material can =
be really, really helpful in determining which version or volume or e=
dition or similar title or whatever the patron needs. It is important=
to be able to determine that visually and quickly using the info on =
the covers. Sometimes patrons can only remember what they need by des=
cribing the cover, too. For example, "I need the Ken Burn's Jazz DVD =
that has them dancing on the front."
=20
Probably not every librarian on the list has processed materials and =
many may not know how much it can take to put your film out on the sh=
elves, showing it to its best advantage. You might also ask one to po=
st this to a technical services list or an acquisitions librarian lis=
t for a more complete response across kinds of colleges. This is one =
of those areas of compartmentalization in libraries that isn't always=
visible from the outside.
=20
None the less, the DVDs (same with VHS) absolutely need a lot of prot=
ection during circulation and it takes staff time to manipulate "gree=
n" covers into the standard holders that I guess almost all of use (G=
aylord, Demco, Broadart etc.) What I'd really like to see are recycl=
able clear plastic DVD cases sold by the major suppliers, in exactly =
the same dimensions of the ones currently sold. (This may already exi=
st, actually.) Ones that can be recycled in a regular city recycle pr=
ogram (Plastic # 1 & 2?) or maybe a buy-back or return-by-mail recycl=
e program sponsored by one of the big library material suppliers. Or =
if distributors distribute DVDs in clear or black plastic cases, find=
someone who can sell recyclable ones to you to sell to us. That way =
we can be "green" too and not have to feel bad about undercutting the=
whole effort you went to to produce a green package.=20
=20
Thanks for asking.

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Well.. if you really want to know...<BR>&nbsp;<BR>Ironically, the fil=
m <EM>An Inconvenient Truth</EM> was particularly problematic for me&=
nbsp;in this regard. It came to my library in a very slim recyclable =
cardboard sleeve which is super for the environment but not so great =
for circulating, browsing or affixing a call number to the spine for =
easy shelving.&nbsp;I cut up the cardboard sleeve and put&nbsp;the fr=
ont and back&nbsp;in a&nbsp;clear DVD holder with a clear sleeve and =
then made a kind of liner so that I could add the title to the spine.=
The&nbsp;I put the spine label on per usual and put it on the shelf,=
in call number order, there by&nbsp;completely subverting the whole =
eco-friendliness of the case. And it ended up looking frankenstein-is=
h and unattractive. Sadly.<BR>&nbsp;<BR>I had to do a similar thing w=
ith the Gaiam /Mayo Clinic "wellness solutions" series which turned o=
ut better but was a lot more work.&nbsp;They were all standard sized =
DVD cases&nbsp;- which is great -&nbsp;but made out of&nbsp;a kind of=
textured cardboard material, like some egg cartons. I had to scan ev=
ery cover (there had to be at least 8 ot 10 in that series) and then =
put them in more durable, plastic covers for circulation. (First&nbsp=
;I tried to cram the front and back cardboard covers into the DVD cas=
e sleeves and that didn't work so well. Busted one of the case sleeve=
s.) It took a long time to get them to look right. And the important,=
pretty, extra information that accompanied the different discs&nbsp;=
had to be&nbsp;jettisoned. There isn't always an easy way to faithful=
ly include all of the cover information and booklets.<BR>&nbsp;<BR>Th=
e multiple stickers we have to affix during processing also obscures =
a lot of the info. And it is worse the slimmer or double-sided the ca=
rdboard covers are. For example, every single DVD gets a&nbsp;library=
ownership&nbsp;label, spine title label, smaller call number spine l=
abel, second title and call number label for the inside, barcode stic=
ker, a due-date stamping area, maybe a&nbsp;"do not duplicate" label =
or whatever and perhaps a label reminding patrons to "return to circ =
desk" rather than putting it in the book drop. Oh - and the security =
strip. The poor things looked like one of those old suitcases with al=
l of the hotel labels plastered on them. It makes it hard sometimes t=
o actually read the description on the back. And you get nothing from=
the inside covers&nbsp;either.&nbsp;So then you feel compelled to ad=
d the full description from the back and inside covers in the catalog=
record as a note, which is time consuming and can&nbsp;even be&nbsp;=
obscured if the OPAC only displays a brief record as the first result=
. &nbsp;It feels like an&nbsp;exercise in futility just to give the u=
ser the most info and the film a chance to be chosen and checked out.=
Which is the goal, of course.&nbsp;That is why I color-scanned the c=
overs for those Gaiam DVDs so that they were attractive and eye-catch=
ing on the shelf. Students see a black-and-white photocopied cover an=
d it is like&nbsp;the item&nbsp;is invisible. <BR>&nbsp;<BR>This is p=
robably way less&nbsp;of a problem&nbsp;for closed stacks collections=
where students may never see the original cases. I had a browsing co=
llection and a closed stacks section and even in the closed stacks&nb=
sp;I tried to keep the covers intact because other librarians also&nb=
sp;got them for patrons and students shelved&nbsp;and all of that cov=
er material can be really, really helpful in determining which versio=
n or volume or edition or&nbsp;similar title or whatever the patron n=
eeds. It is important to be able to determine that visually and quick=
ly using the info on the covers. Sometimes patrons can only remember =
what they need by describing the cover, too. For example, "I need the=
Ken Burn's <EM>Jazz</EM> DVD that has them dancing on the front."<BR=
>&nbsp;<BR>Probably not every librarian on the list&nbsp;has processe=
d materials&nbsp;and many may not know how much it can take to put yo=
ur film out on the shelves, showing it to its best advantage. You mig=
ht also ask one to post this to a technical services list or an acqui=
sitions librarian list for a more complete response across kinds of c=
olleges. This is one of those areas of compartmentalization in librar=
ies that isn't always visible from the outside.<BR>&nbsp;<BR>None the=
less, the DVDs&nbsp;(same with VHS) absolutely need a lot of protect=
ion during circulation and it takes staff time to manipulate "green" =
covers into the standard holders that I guess almost all of use (Gayl=
ord, Demco, Broadart etc.)&nbsp; What I'd really like to see are recy=
clable clear plastic DVD cases sold by the major suppliers, in exactl=
y the same&nbsp;dimensions of the ones currently sold. (This may alre=
ady exist, actually.)&nbsp;Ones that can be recycled in a regular cit=
y recycle program (Plastic # 1 &amp; 2?) or maybe a buy-back or retur=
n-by-mail recycle program sponsored by one of the big library materia=
l suppliers. Or if distributors distribute DVDs in clear or black pla=
stic cases, find someone who can sell recyclable&nbsp;ones to you to =
sell to us. That way we can be "green" too and not have to feel bad a=
bout undercutting the whole effort you went to to produce a green pac=
kage. <BR>&nbsp;<BR>Thanks for asking.

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