Re: [Videolib] New topic: video borrowing poliicies

From: <ghandman@library.berkeley.edu>
Date: Fri Nov 13 2009 - 16:27:54 PST

OK...rather than have to reply individually (now that I've shot my mouth
off again) here's my reply to Jen Foster. Again...this is not even
vaguely advocacy...it's simply the path we've decided to take based on
experience and best judgment:

The Berkeley collection is pushing 50 thousand titles...the split between
fiction film and non-fiction genres is about 50/50. The collection
contains somewhere around 11,000 tapes, about 40% (you heard me right) are
out-of-distribution completely. We have single copies for the vast
majority of the collection.

We circulate between 70 and 90 thousand pieces a year. Probably 95% of
these circulations are for course-assigned viewing or research.

OK, that's the background.

There are a number of reasons we do not circulate materials

1. Our primary mission is to support classroom teaching and student
learning (entertainment and general interest run a very distant
second...just doesn't happen that much anymore, in any case). Although we
beat faculty over the head trying to get them to reserve stuff in advance
for classroom screening, experience has shown us that it is almost
impossible to predict with anything like certainty what's going to be
requested in the course of a week. Limiting circulation is draconian, we
realize, but it ensures that materials will be available for these
purposes when needed.

There are, I am aware, baroque and often dizzying schemes utilized by some
libraries for variably assigning policies and rules for different types of
media, types of media use, parts of the collection, etc.. In MRC we make
the student assistants who staff our service desk learn and enforce enough
circulation arcana as it is. I'm not willing to complicate things
further.

2. Short of isolating or re-cataloging rare or fragile materials (e.g.,
out-of-distribution tape), there's no way, short of limited circulation,
of ensuring that these materials survive. (We're making concerted efforts
to do Section 108 replacement copies, but it's an uphill battle).

3. Our experience is that even faculty and GSIs take constant tracking,
cajoling, threatening to get them to bring stuff back on time. The
thought of riding herd on undergraduates gives me waking nightmares...We
simply don't have the staff to pull this off. (BTW: We have a
fair-number of student-led classes for which grant the student facilitator
faculty privileges--i.e. checking out for same-day use in the classroom.
These classes are consistently a headache...the proportion of obnoxiously
overdue materials is two and three times higher than for faculty users
(who, again, aren't always that diligent themselves). An indication, I
think, of what would happen if opened the floodgates further...)

4. Even if we did circulate stuff to students, fees for lost materials
don't come back to MRC. In short, we'd eat lost materials.
Re-ordering and remarking materials costs money, by the way (which
militates for tacking processing costs onto missing fees).

5. The student users of this collection are, in our experience, faaaar
less pissed off by having to watch the stuff here than they are by finding
that the title they need to watch for a class isn't on the shelf (because
a faculty person has it, we simply don't own the piece, etc.)

We lose maybe two or three pieces a year...this has been true for the past
25 years...do I need to say much more?

Gary (who is headed off shortly to an unpretentious little pinot and an
emailess weekend)

> Your opinions are always welcome to me. I would love to hear your
> rationale for the policy so if you prefer to do that off-line, I'd love to
> hear. You make quite a bit of sense to me.
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
> Date: Friday, November 13, 2009 5:26 pm
> Subject: Re: [Videolib] New topic: video borrowing poliicies
> To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>
>> I'm not advocating anything, Jen.
>>
>> The policy of the UC Berkeley Media Resources Center is generally to
>> check
>> materials out to faculty and graduate student instructors for one-day
>> use
>> in the classroom or overnite for preview, and to require that students
>> watch materials on-site in the Center (unless, of course, we have
>> streaming rights).
>>
>> Gary
>>
>> I hesitate to give my rationale for the above policy here, lest I
>> reallllllly wear out my welcome on this list. If you want it, email me
>> and I'll be glad to elaborate off-line.
>>
>>
>> > Am I to understand from this response from Gary that you (Gary)
>> advocate
>> > not checking videos out? Just want to make sure I understand what you
>> > are saying here...jen
>> >
>> >
>> > Jennifer Foster
>> > Media Librarian
>> > The Victoria College/University of Houston-Victoria Library
>> > 361.570.4195
>> > fosterj@uhv.edu
>> > http://vcuhvlibrary.uhv.edu
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu
>> > [mailto:videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of
>> > ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
>> > Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 7:56 PM
>> > To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>> > Subject: Re: [Videolib] New topic: video borrowing poliicies
>> >
>> > Why? If you don't care about preserving the cultural record (hey,
>> > Zeitgeist Films guy, chill out!), if you you don't care about making
>> > your
>> > collection available for the maximum number of users WHEN they need
>> it
>> > (including instructors who need the stuff ad hoc to teach), if you
>> don't
>> > care about sending a $300 video out into the wonderful world of
>> > undergraduate pathology...go for it!
>> >
>> > Gary Handman
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >> On a slightly different tangent: perhaps as a true convenience to the
>> >> students, *they could be just
>> >> allowed to check out films to view **outside of the library*. This
>> is
>> >> the basic policy here at USC
>> >> with our Leavey Library video collection. Except for a relatively
>> > small
>> >> items specifically placed on course reserve, any
>> >> student and faculty member can check out any vhs tape or dvd in our
>> >> 5000+ collection
>> >> for up to three days. This is a policy which has proven to be
>> > enormously
>> >> popular with both faculty and student
>> >> body alike. While so many academic libraries continue be so
>> > restrictive
>> >> in their video circulation policies
>> >> I find....well..um....unfathomable. I mean, why should students be
>> >> forced to watch the films in the confines
>> >> of the library building?
>> >>
>> >> *******************************
>> >> Anthony E. Anderson
>> >> Social Science and Arts & Humanities Librarian
>> >> Von KleinSmid Library
>> >> University of Southern California
>> >> Los Angeles, CA 90089-0182
>> >> (213) 740-1190 anthonya@usc.edu <
>> >> "Wind, regen, zon, of kou,
>> >> Albert Cuyp ik hou van jou."
>> >>
>> >> *************************************
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Sarah E. McCleskey wrote:
>> >>
>> >>>I love the idea of the student paying $2.99 for a semester of
>> streamed
>> >>> access. It leaves our collection budgets for, well, collecting, and
>> >>> provides a revenue stream for NewDay, Icarus, Bullfrog, Newsreel,
>> > etc.,
>> >>> etc., etc. I think students would rather pay $2.99 *than have to
>> > come
>> >>> to the library to watch a movie.* Every time I say this someone
>> > shoots
>> >>> it down, but I really wish more distributors would go with a
>> >>> pay-per-stream model, where we can pass that cost along to the
>> > student
>> >>> and use our money for content (rather than access).
>> >>>
>> >>>Sarah @ Hofstra
>> >>>
>> >>>-----Original Message-----
>> >>>From: videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu
>> >>> [mailto:videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Jonathan
>> > Miller
>> >>>Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 4:57 PM
>> >>>To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>> >>>Subject: Re: [Videolib] A meditation on indie vdeo pricing in an age
>> > of
>> >>> fiscalapocalypse
>> >>>
>> >>>Dear video-ists
>> >>>
>> >>>1) If amongst say the top 1000 higher=ed media buyers price per se
>> was
>> >>> not
>> >>>the obstacle to buying important (say the top 25% of released
>> titles?)
>> >>>documentaries at prices between say $200 and $400,
>> >>>
>> >>>And now, with reduced budgets there is less ability to continue
>> buying
>> >>> them
>> >>>- overall.
>> >>>
>> >>>Then, if distributors who formerly sold at $200-$400 were to cut
>> > prices
>> >>> to
>> >>>say $100
>> >>>
>> >>>Why should we expect any more of those 1000 top buyers to buy 2 > 4
>> x
>> > as
>> >>>many (at least) units? I don't get it. If I sold 200 units at $300
>> = $
>> >>>60,000 / now I am going to release the same films for say $150 - will
>> > now
>> >>>400 colleges buy that same title? And even if they do, I am still
>> > behind
>> >>>(higher costs, more work).
>> >>>
>> >>>2) How many of you are using or getting your profs/students to use
>> >>> services
>> >>>such as
>> >>>
>> >>>A) Amazon VOD
>> >>>B) New Day VOD
>> >>>
>> >>>Could we get say 30,000 students to pay $2 each for say our recent
>> >>> release
>> >>>on the mortgage crisis WE ALL FALL DOWN? (if we stream it ourselves
>> > and
>> >>> keep
>> >>>all the money, less the 3% credit card fee!) or 70,000 students (!)
>> if
>> > it
>> >>> is
>> >>>done thru a 3rd party service like Amazon?
>> >>>
>> >>>3) Is Alexander Street's model a good substitute for you? Would you
>> > like
>> >>> to
>> >>>move in that direction?
>> >>>
>> >>>Perhaps, Gary et al, you can give us some specific commentary on
>> which
>> >>>companies / policies that you see starting to emerge do you think
>> > might
>> >>>work? What are some companies doing right (Strategically) as you see
>> > it?
>> >>>What companies are moving in the wrong direction, and why.
>> >>>
>> >>>Otherwise, apart from closing up shop, I am not sure what you are
>> >>> suggesting
>> >>>we (distributors/ producers) do.
>> >>>
>> >>>Is that too harsh?
>> >>>
>> >>>JM
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >> 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.
>> >
>> > 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.
>
> 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 Fri Nov 13 16:28:21 2009

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