Re: [Videolib] Whither Media or What?

From: <ghandman@library.berkeley.edu>
Date: Tue Apr 07 2009 - 08:37:47 PDT

Well...these are interesting questions, certainly. A lot of what we
collect and what we call ourselves has to do (or should have to do) with
whom we're serving, what our collecting and service mission is, what type
of institution we're working in. Unfortunately, the history and
development of media collections (broadly defined) in libraries has often
been full of missteps, bad decisions, and ignorance. Media collections
have frequently evolved as an often half-assed attempt to respond to
vaguely perceived and little understood user needs and wants.

Because such collections have almost always been late-comers or
after-thoughts, they've tended to get the short end of the facilities and
collections budget stick. It's not uncommon to find that anything that
requires access technology is thrown into one room and called
"media"--microforms, audiobooks, CD-ROMS, video games, film and video. I
think there are real problems with this approach, expedient as it may be
in most libraries, from facilities and staffing perspectives. If you think
about each medium as embodying a unique history; a unique array of of
cultural, aesthetic, and cognitive strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and
uses; as well as frequently different audiences (not to mention radically
different "publishing" universes and access requirements), then the common
practice of amalgamating anything that's "not print" into one service or
unit begins to make less and less sense. I'd make the case that in
collections of even moderate size, the professional expertise and
knowledge required to stay effectively on top of the content universe of
any one medium (and the varied needs of its users) is
considerable...trying to watch over the whole spectrum of moving image and
sound media (and hybrids thereof) is a losing battle.

Again, a lot of what I've said above has to do with collection size,
collection mission, and collection users.

Finally, what we call ourselves is really irrelevant, I think. There are
bigger electronic fish to fry...

Gary Handman

> Long intro - short question.
>
>
>
> What to do with "media" items that are not "films?" Collect with films
> or embed in regular collection?
>
>
>
> This is an issue that our library has been struggling with and managing
> to decisively avoid till now. Its part of the whole "where does media
> belong in the collection" thing. We have made the monumental decision
> to have our videos be a separate collection and departmental entity. I
> have my dream job of being in charge of selecting and caring for films
> (now of course in VHS and DVD and soon, no doubt, to be in some other
> form), and the rest of the library is "books" (mostly).
>
>
>
> I purposely chose the name of Media Collections for our new department
> because in the back of my wee mind I suspected (and rather hoped for)
> adding to the collection items that were "media" in nature, but not
> necessarily "film." We de-accessioned our LP albums and small number of
> books on tape when we acquired the collection two years ago. The audio
> book thing (first books on tape, then CD, now mp3, soon who knows) is
> still up for grabs since we don't officially collect them (yet). Many
> libraries collect video games (or any games for that matter - digital or
> paper). We don't to that either (yet).
>
>
>
> Today I just received a hybrid if there ever was one. It's "Leonardo da
> Vinci CODIC Atlantico." It's a DVD-ROM and elegant book in a boxed set.
> It is beautiful to behold. Yet, our head cataloger was not sure if it
> goes to me (Media Collections) or to the "regular" collection. Is it a
> book or a DVD (ROM) or what? Of course it is both. The parts work
> together to deliver information about a subject in multiple modes. So,
> where to go? It's the "D" word that is the confusion I know. If it just
> said CD, instead of DVD, it would have gone to the regular collection
> without a thought, 'cause everybody knows that a CD is just an audio
> book, and books of course go with the other books....right?
>
>
>
> I told her to send it up. I'd love to have it of course. But, "just
> because I want it "is hardly good reason (though not a bad start).
> Since I am setting precedent here (I'm waiting for that first audio book
> / DVD-ROM / interactive game thing to fall from the sky any minute), I
> would like to know what everyone else is doing with "media" things that
> are NOT your average joe films. Are we "film" librarians or "media"
> librarians, and what does that mean anyway? I know it's basically a
> collection policy thing. But, what are all of you out there doing?
>
>
>
> Awaiting thoughtful insights. Thanks.
>
>
>
> jared
>
>
>
> Jared A. Seay
>
> Reference Librarian
>
> Head, Media Collections
>
> Addlestone Library
> College of Charleston
>
> Charleston, SC 29424
>
>
>
> Reference Office:
>
> 843-953-1428
>
> Media Collections:
>
> 843-953-8040
>
>
> seayj@cofc.edu
>
> www.cofc.edu/~seay
>
>
>
>
>
> 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.
>

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley

510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC

"I have always preferred the reflection of life to life itself."
--Francois Truffaut

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.
Received on Tue Apr 7 08:38:05 2009

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