Re: 16mm purchasing

Kristine R. Brancolini (
Fri, 19 Jul 1996 10:07:32 -0500 (EST)

Here at Indiana University we do have a film studies program, but we do
not pay for the film rentals from our budget. I have read the
discussion on this issue (I was vacation when it began) and I agree that
there is value in seeing films on film, rather than another format.
However, I believe it is unconscionable for the library to pay for
purchasing, leasing, or renting these films. Rentals are paid for by
departments here. And I believe rightly so. If the department offering
the course(s) wants to offer the showings on film, it should pay for
them. Owning the films on videocassette or laserdisc is appropriate for
the library.

Despite the commitment of our film studies faculty to showing films in class,
they are relying on laserdiscs increasingly because they cannot find rental
sources for the more obscure films they want to show. This is
particularly true of foreign films used for graduate seminars. Besides,
the cost of rental is not justified for a course with 10 students. So,
whether we like it or not, I believe that academic departments will be
using laserdisc or videocassette for more and more course support.

Again, if the faculty involved are adamant about using film, their
department should pick up the cost, not the library. By the way, we do
not pay for any other film rentals either. We are not singling out film

Kristine Brancolini
Indiana University Libraries