Thu, 29 May 1997 09:25:39 +0000

> The Saskatoon Public Library has a policy of withdrawing videos after 250
> circs. Do other libraries have automatic withdrawal policies? If so, how many
> circs do you give each video? Thank you in advance for any information.
> Carol Hutchinson
> Saskatoon Public Library

We are also beginning to withdraw videos after 250 circs. A few
years ago, I looked at close to 100 videos with more than 300
circs. Every one of them was so dirty, snowy, streaked, etc., that
the video player I was using had to be serviced afterwards as it had
become completely gummed up. Not one of the videos were watchable.
Some of them circed every few days and no one had reported a problem,
yet the videos were not in any way watchable. The problem was not
the VCR. It was in perfect working order before and after. I've had
many patrons tell me that they will not check out a library video
because "it wrecks their VCRs." Patrons often don't report problems
because either they forget or they're afraid they'll be fined. We
used to check out all complaints or all very high circs by viewing
the video-- more than three quarters of them were indeed ready to
retire. I finally decided we simply don't have the time to look at
them. Since we can't examine a video in the same way that we can
examine a book (a quick, handheld spot check), I decided an arbitrary
cutoff was a good way to weed. The cases usually look pretty ratty
by then anyway, and I'd rather maintain a collection that is in
pretty good condition.

Suzanne Tronier
East Millcreek Library
Salt Lake County Library System