Re: Closed circuit tv systems

mundane matters (PDF@LOYOLA.EDU)
Fri, 16 Feb 1996 07:24:44 -0500 (EST)

It may be a little early in the morning for this, but I think it
needs to be said: "the woman" referred to was, I believe, Sue Sloan.
And her response/query was entirely legitimate in regard to one-stop
shopping for video licensing.

Since when has this list been about vendor lectures to the cowing video
librarians? Let Films Inc. and Kino remember that this is a discussion
list among professional librarians on matters related to serving library
users. We aim to make informed choices, not seek direction from
suppliers of the products we purchase or rent. The tone is wrong.

As to watching movies in dorms on campus cable systems, and the outrageous
assumption that students might have a legitimate reason for this beyond
"entertainment" I offer the following example:

A class of 50 students needs to view an episode of "Eyes on the Prize"
prior to the next class meeting. The instructor does not wish to use
contact time with the students sitting in a lecture hall watching the 58
minute episode together. She assigns the video viewing for out of class,
and reserves the class session for discussion and/or lecture.

In steps the video librarian with a campus cable solution: assign the
students to view at the library OR IN THEIR DORM ROOMS channel #53 at
7p.m. for the next three evenings. This is not an optional assignment,
it is analogous to a course reserve reading for next week's class.

The instructor is pleased, the students are satisfied (if not overjoyed)
and the video is viewed by commuters and resident students. Notice I
chose a PBS Video documentary for which closed-circuit cable distribution
rights are included in the purchase price.

This is what, as video librarians, we are grappling with on the matter
of assisting the education of students through the medium of video.
Faculty also teach with feature film on video. Video librarians want
philosophically to provide the same access to all the video in their
collections. We really do understand (assume we do) that we purchase
limited rights when we acquire video. But we do want this "classroom"
concept modified to include campus cable distribution. And we are willing
to pay for the additional rights, provided the costs are not prohibative
AND the logistics are not nightmarish.

Access is our game, not profits. If one video librarian is discouraged
by the dire warnings of vendors that closed-circuit cable systems are
too problematic for installation or effective use, then I encourage them
to consider the vested interests in those same opinions.

Philip Fryer AV/Systems Librarian
Loyola/Notre Dame Library phone: 410-532-8787 x118
200 Winston Avenue fax: 410-532-6130
Baltimore, Maryland 21212 internet: