Given the serial nature of licensing, spending large portions of a budget
on big digital deals is stupid and irresponsible, unless it can be fairly
clearly demonstrated that there's a net gain benefit in terms of content
and potential users. That's why I rail so loudly against what I've termed
"curated" digital collections--those packages that are assembled by a
distributor/vendor and purchased lock, stock, and stream... In my
experience, fairly small subsets of these types of collections may be
valuable to the teaching and research mission of a particular
institution...the rest, not so. Doesn't matter it's often all or nuthin'
I've noticed a fair number of cases in which the rush to go online and the
entrancement with all things digital (by library administrators, by
faculty) is leading libraries into some very unfortunate collection
Even in cases where the titles are "hand-picked" for digital licensing,
the shift from one-time to recurrent cost will force a fairly stringent
yearly reassessment of a licensed title's worth to the institution.
Academic libraries aren't generally in the business of weeding. I have a
feeling that licensing is going to force us to do a kind of weeding by
"turning off" titles that aren't currently being used in classroom
teaching or in high demand. If it eventually so happens that online
becomes the ONLY mode of access...well, there goes the cultural record.
> It is rather obvious to me that streaming video is moving to an
> environment where it can be treated not like monographs (buy it, use it,
> lend it, ILL it), to a serials model (pay for a access to a select group
> of users, vendors expect to charge annual fees, and libraries have to pay
> more and more each year). Unfortunately, this model is great for
> vendors--and a useful way to fund infrastructure improvements necessary to
> deliver digital--but it has not yet proved to be financially viable for
> libraries long-term.
> I fear that in the future, academic libraries will spend large portions of
> their budget on digital "big deals" at the expense of smaller,
> independently produced films that don't have all the bells & whistles.
> 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.
Media Resources Center
"I have always preferred the reflection of life to life itself."
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.