Re: [Videolib] VHS to DVD for classroom use?

From: Williams, Elizabeth <ewilliam@mansfield.edu>
Date: Wed Nov 04 2009 - 05:28:30 PST

That sounds eerily familiar--that is exactly what is happening here--even the nebulous "contract"!

Beth Williams
North Hall Library
Mansfield University
570-662-4690
ewilliam@mansfield.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu [mailto:videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Christopher Drake
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 6:08 PM
To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] VHS to DVD for classroom use?

This is exactly what is happening at my University. I'm the media
librarian and our faculty still use over 50% of our VHS collection and
most of the titles they want either aren't available on DVD or they are
too expensive to rebuy in that format.

Our IT department has recently begun removing all VHS players (perfectly
good combo units) from the classrooms to force people to buy DVD--and that
without consulting the faculty or myself. I also have the problem that
our IT guys believe that you're allowed to do anything you want with a
title if you bought it and so they think we can just either convert all
our "outdated" VHS titles to DVD or put them on a server. They simply
refuse to believe that there are these things called "laws" that prevent
such happenings. The print Librarians are on my side and my direct boss
is a copyright expert and we still can't get through to them and I'm
hearing more and more complaints from faculty about how we should just
convert everything over and "not tell anyone." I've refused to do that
for the twelve years I've been here and so, of course, I'm the bad, evil
guy who won't help anyone by breaking the law.

It's rather frustrating! We make it perfectly easy for faculty to buy
their new titles on DVD, it's just a matter of having the money in their
department budget but even they can't seem to understand why we don't just
convert the materials to DVD for them or put it all on a server.
Furthermore our IT people have bought some nebulous "contract" that they
can never actually produce but which they claim grants them blanket
permission to copy/transfer any and all titles ever made. As we ran into
this with the University church a few years ago and I had to tell them the
contract covered only a few titles I know there is no such contract that
allows a University to do whatever it wants with ALL copyrighted material.

So it's terribly annoying to have to be the person who constantly says no
to people who think that copyright laws are actually just an
inconvenience, especially when IT people cease to support perfectly good
technology that is necessary for faculty to use media in their classes.

I don't have a solution, just mainly wanted to vent and say that nobody is
alone in this!

Chris Drake
La Sierra University Library
Media Services

> Not having control of what technology is available in the classrooms is a
> very real problem for libraries.
>
> The IT guys are looking at the newest & coolest technology. In their
> minds, the fact that VHS tapes disappeared from the consumer market means
> they're obsolete. The fact that much of the content is still relevant,
> and oftentimes irreplaceable, isn't part of their mindset.
>
> I've had to raise a stink (several times) about retaining VCR/DVD combo
> units in the classroom and have gotten some influential teaching faculty
> involved. This was especially necessary since those faculty could also
> quantify how many tapes they use in the classroom that they (or their
> department) own in addition to what the Library provides.
>
> Some of the things I did was to provide overall circ numbers - DVDs vs VHS
> tapes. I also provided title-by-title circ stats for the VHS tapes. Of
> the 30 titles with the most circs: A fourth had already been replaced with
> DVD copies; half are not available on DVD; the remaining  -- I'm ordering
> a couple of them, but many are simply too expensive to justify buying
> again rather than looking for new content on the topic.
>
> Not sure this will stop the disappearing VCRs, but at least they can't say
> it's lack of interest on our part.
>
> Barb Bergman | Media Services & Interlibrary Loan Librarian | Minnesota
> State University, Mankato | barbara.bergman@mnsu.edu | (507) 389-5945
>
>
> Here's a wrinkle... what do you do when your IT/media department
> announces they will no longer support VHS and will only have equipment to
> show DVDs? What happens to all the VHS formats you have that are not
> available in DVD? Not bringing this up to be difficult. This is an
> actual scenario that was successfully (at least for the time being)
> diffused but will no doubt come up again.
>
> Merle
>
> 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.
>

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.

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 Wed Nov 4 05:35:31 2009

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