We are a library system of 87 libraries. My job is to select titles for the
libraries to choose from. The libraries themselves decide whether or not
to purchase my selections. In addition, they can order things themselves
from catalogs, etc. We do very little central purchasing.
Our libraries, unfortunately, "bow to the almighty circulation god",
although their budgets are determined by many other factors (reference
activity, population served, etc.). You can't convince them that
circulation is not *king*. Therefore, I have libraries buying 3 and 4 copies
of *U.S. Marshals* (IMHO, a marginal title) simply to get circ and no
educational titles. I have some libraries that are virtually video stores.
The reason I asked the question on the list is that I am trying to *rein this
in*. We will never NOT purchase feature films but are thinking about
limiting the amount libraries can spend on them. My philosophy is to
concentrate purchases on items that can not be obtained from the local
video store (you can imagine how many thousands of those we have
here!). Call me old-fashioned but I still believe libraries have an obligation
to educate not merely respond to patron demand.
Thanks again for your responses and keep them coming!