Re: The future of library media

Oksana Dykyj (
Mon, 13 Jan 1997 14:43:18 +0000 (HELP) wrote:

I would be interested to know what the future might bring to library media.
I am a media librarian. DVD undoubtedly will sometime replace VHS
videocassettes, but what other changes might there be? Thanks for your

I believe that media librarians have been pro-active in the area of change.
In the last 25 years we have dealt with incorporating various formats of
video into our 16mm collections. Some of us manage a variety of analog 2",
1" formats including reel to reel along with 3/4" and 1/2". A number of us
manage digital tape as well. Who knew in the early 1980's that the more
compact and better image quality betamax would die and the lesser quality
VHS would take over as the consumer standard? What we end up with as motion
media librarians and archivists is not only a collection of material but a
collection of equipment for playback. We are constantly in flux when it
comes to maintaining dying technology with the new kid on the block. I don't
see that aspect of what we do, changing with the arrival of DVD. We will
eventually become entrenched in digital media with similar and new problems
with which to deal.

In the short term, say the next five years, the DVD software will be very
limited. I would think they would be in a better position than lasedisc was
at its commercial inception but in terms of feature film titles they will
undoubtebly market recent releases, slowly moving down the history of
Cinema. Film Studies courses for instance, will still need to use the
material available on other formats. I am still buying laserdisc as
furiously as ever and plan to eventually purchase a bunch of laserdisc
players (when dealers have huge sales) to have as backup or to cannibalize
parts when needed. A number of articles this past summer have been rather
critical of the image quality of DVDs, so it remains to be seen how good the
quality is, initially and in the next year or two, and what titles will be

There's a web site for the Optical Video Disc Association formerly known as
the Laser Disc Association. It's worth a gander:

Occasionally there is an educated discussion on the usenet related to the pros and cons of dvd.

This has been my pragmatic 2 cents because I don't have the time for the
philosophic right now.

Oksana Dykyj Tel: 514-848-3443
Head, Visual Media Resources Fax: 514-848-3441
Audio-Visual Department H-342 Email:
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve West
Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8