RE: Interesting pricing

Karen Driessen (
Thu, 2 Dec 1999 11:58:40 -0800 (PST)

What comes around, goes around. The thread of this entire discussion is
very nostalgic. And yet unfortunately nothing much has changed. Back in
1987 as a member of the Audiovisual Committee of ALA's RTSD Division, now
known as ALCTS or the Association for Libraries and Technical Services, we
published and circulated a brochure called "Happiness is Having One Title".
At the time it came out, the committee blitzed every media vendor
attending the annual American Library Association, with a personal pitch as
to why things like consistent titles, dates, etc. were so important to
people purchasing media materials and to those who had to catalog them. We
actually mailed the brochure to 500 or so media vendors we could locate at
that time. Both in person and by mail responses we were sometimes met
with sincere sympathy and understanding and sometimes we were received as
though we were crazy. After all, didn't we realize marketing was the
vendor's primary interest? and if a title didn't seem quite snazzy enough
to their way of thinking, they felt it was perfectly OK to change the title
on the container, and maybe a different one on the spine, etc. And as far
as dates, they wouldn't want to include that because no one wants to buy
something that isn't brand new! Etc., etc..

Other points in the brochure asked for things like:
If an item has been reissued with changes to the content, the item should
indicate it is a new editon, version, etc.
All items should carry a production date and/or copyright date for the
format being distributed. Works originally issued in another format should
carry dates for both the original issues and the current release of the new
Indicate prominently on the item what organizations are connected with its
production and distribution. In other words we asked them to "Eliminate
the confusion" "Accurate and consistent information during production and
marketing phases will result in consistent citations in bibliographies,
reviews, and other verification and ordering tools."

I'm sorry to say that FFH was less than sympathetic even back then and I
eventually spoke to the head of the company who explained to me the "point
of view of the vendor". So, as frustrating as it is, I think we are
dealing with a reality of the market place, and as long as we keep buying
from them, they will not change their ways.

As a former cataloger, I can tell you AACR2 does its best to cover all the
bases with describing these things. To insure consistency, the cataloged
title must be from the projected screen, and the producer, director and
distributor info should come from there too when available. There is
provision to include all the other variations of title in the record as
points of entry also. When there is more than one date, there is a place
for each of those in the bibliographic record as well which aids
verification and retrieval once the item is in your library (and better yet
if your library system can limit by dates). There also is a place to enter
current series and old series titles for access by series title and keyword
searches. If only the vendor catalogs realized the importance of all this
kind of consistent bibliographic information! It's interesting that
publishers and vendors seem to get the concept for books but apparently
think there is no intellectual integrity to a video and they can market a
video any way they want!!

Sorry to vent but I guess some of us have been at this too long!

to iAt 08:54 AM 12/01/1999 -0800, Gary Handman wrote:
>Hi all.
>This recent discussion has gotten me to thinking: we're 400 or 500 strong
>on this list, not a bad chunk of buying power. Seems to me that as a sort
>of pressure group, we might be able to lean on vendors whose practices
>, or odd. I don't think Insight would care a fig
>about what we say...I think FFHS would.
>Should we be doing something en masse?
>At 08:35 AM 12/01/1999 -0800, you wrote:
>>I agree. My other pet peeve, and this applies primarily to
>>FFHS, is not including the date. You wouldn't believe how many
>>duplicates were ordered this past year because of this trick of
>>putting old titles into "sets" and renaming the set.
>>Also, it appears that a number of titles this past two years are
>>not the exclusive right of one distributor to sell and so
>>several distributors will handle the same work and alter the
>>description and/or title and call that item "new" in their
>>Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 06:24:45 -0800 (PST)
>>Reply-to: From: "Beth
>>Hansen" <> To: Multiple recipients of
>>list <> Subject: RE: Interesting
>> You have stumbled on one of my pet peeves! I dread the appearance of
>>faculty requests from their catalogs! I always feel morally obligated to
>>research all the alternative pricing options on their titles before finally
>>placing an order with Insight! They also have a tricky way of supplying
>>titles which do not accurately reflect the item.... thus I have ended up
>>with duplicates on occasion despite my best sleuthing efforts!
>> Arrrrrrgh!
>> Beth Hansen
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From:
>>> []On Behalf Of Gary Handman
>>> Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 1:58 PM
>>> To: Multiple recipients of list
>>> Subject: Interesting pricing
>>> Thumbing thru the latest Insight Media catalog, I noticed two interesting
>>> things:
>>> Woman in the Dunes is listed at $149 (it sells for $29.95 at FACETS)
>>> Marat/Sade is listed at $99 (it sells for $24.95 at FACETS)
>>> Somehow, I don't think shipping and handling account for the differences.
>>> Any Insight lurkers out there want to address this?
>>> Gary Handman
>>> Director
>>> Media Resources Center
>>> Moffitt Library
>>> UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
>>> 510-643-8566
>>> "You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it
>>> is aimless,
>>> it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld
>Gary Handman
>Media Resources Center
>Moffitt Library
>UC Berkeley 94720-6000
>"Everything wants to become television" (James Ulmer -- Teletheory)
Karen C. Driessen, Director Phone: 406-243-2856
Instructional Media Services (MMLAO1) FAX: 406-243-4067
32 Campus Drive #4968 E-mail:
The University of Montana
Missoula MT 59812-4968