Ditto the death habits of video tapes without a death watch on
them. I find it interesting to note the rituals we go through to
prevent tossing "valuable materials" accidentally, even when we are
in a "when in doubt, throw it out" mode. For example: King County
Library System does triage when a tape is sent to our Service Center
with "somekind of problem" from the Community Library. We use the
following criteria to determine if it is of value to inspect on the
RTI machine and possibly keep in the collection. The most expensive
resource in our system is staff time. (At present, we are in a
discarding mode - same sort of thinking applies to bound material
with different numbers and special topic exceptions).
"Video copies are discarded at this point EXCEPT those that meet the
The title has a barcode number issued within the last two years,
The title is a children's video,
The title is produced by Walt Disney companies,
The title is non-fiction, homework related.
There are holds on the title, or
There are 5 or fewer copies of the title.
Also discard any item that has been inspected three times within a
one year period, regardless of condition."
When we do inspect on the RTI, we toss tapes with 10 or more
instances of damage. (Simple machines, those RTIs, we set ours to
show "A" for 1-3, "B" for 4-9, and "C" for 10 or more.)
Basically, our "KEEP" philosophy for video is: reasonably good
condition, being used by the public (holds), and five copies is
enough after the newness wears off. We also feel a special need to
keep homework related, or Disney, or children's material. If we had
extra staff resources (ha, ha) we would adjust our triage decisions.
Ralph Huntzinger (206) 684-6673
Collection Management Services
King County Library System