Re: Letterbox vs reformatted

Becky Tatar (
Fri, 20 Mar 1998 14:28:12 -0800

Dear Mary,

At 12:34 PM 3/20/98 -0800, you wrote:
>I purchase videos for a medium-size public library and would like to get some
>input on what other film and video librarians think about widescreen vs
>reformatted videos in their collections.
>To complicate matters, there is also the collector's edition in widescreen
>and probably a Spanish language version as well.
> I'd really appreciate some feedback on this issue. I'm the only A.V.
librarian in the region and will be a small voice crying in the wilderness!!

I purchase all the videos for our main library. While most of our
collection is informational, we do get some films, mostly classics, award
winners, etc. I generally have gone to getting the letterbox format if it
is available. I haven't had any complaints so far. I don't consider the
collector's edition for several reasons,
one is cost. Also, even though the extra video material is interesting,
it's not necessary. The problem also arises in how to shelve these. They
come in large boxes, with large books, cds, and who knows what else. I
haven't had anyone ask about these, either. We have a separate budget for
Spanish videos. We tend to select feature films from Mexico for this
collection rather than dubbed American movies. Of course, just because
people don't say anything doesn't mean they don't want something. Right
now, our collection is about 12 years old, at our main library we have about
5,200 titles, our budget this year is $15,000 and last year we circulated
over 14,000 videos. Hope this helps you!

Becky Tatar
Unit Head, Periodicals/Audio-Visual
Aurora Public Library
1 E. Benton Street
Aurora, IL 60505
Phone: 630/264-4100, x4116
FAX: 630/896-3209
Opinions are my own.