Chris Lewis wrote:
Would any academic media librarians out there care to comment on
multimedia CD-ROMs in your collections that are actually receiving
regular use? Though we have a few titles here at the American
University Library (and the equipment to run them), most of their use
has been limited to a few class assignments and as kind of a
novelty demonstrated during library tours. Most titles I have seen
though are just too superficial for serious use by college students.
I hope someone out there has had some experiences contrary to ours. I
would love to hear about any titles that really deliver - in terms of
content and design.
Since we fit the criteria, I can hazard a few observations, three
years into the format: we have some junk (requested by faculty in
Accounting of all places, having NOTHING to do with Accounting) and some
very good stuff (check-out the Voyager Company line) and some recent
good acquisitions from Films for the Humanities (like Medieval England,
for instance) among other progressive video companies who offer better
pricing (in case anyone at FFH&S is reading) AND some of the standard
multimedia CD-ROM reference products. There are small-press equivalents
out there producing some good product who may fill your orders eventually -
last year we hunted down "Material World" from StarPress from a piece
on NPR with the creators!. Now you can order the thing from just about
any CD-ROM retailer. And so it goes.
What I like is students finding the stuff in routine topic
research - they invariably are delighted and take the material in stride.
I want to know what THEY think of the items we have. Actual users are
the best guage, I think.
It also seems our professional literature is incorporating CD-ROM
reviewing as well (e.g. LJ), albeit more geared to public library land.
The format's development is not unlike the birth of video (I remember)
in the proliferation of titles for an insatiable public willing to accept
And speaking of faculty: we try to order what is requested and also
proactively make them aware of what they will desparately want yesterday.
You know the routine. We have gone the slow-build route - we have about
125 titles at the moment. But your topic is a good one - I will request
a circulation report by media type from our systems folk tomorrow!
Philip Fryer, AV/Systems Librarian
Loyola/Notre Dame Library, Inc.
200 Winston Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21212
[serving the College of Notre Dame of Maryland AND
Loyola College in Maryland, exactly the same]
and I tasted the flavorless, and it was good.