Quality Books Inc.
At 12:58 PM 12/9/99 -0800, you wrote:
>Thanks! Academics need a hard kick in the butt sometimes to wake them up
>in their ivory towers.
>On the other hand:
>While I'm certain hard realities often enter into the selection process
>(and probably rightfully so), I guess my concern is the degree to which
>such factors seem to drive public library collection development and
>collection policy. The argument that you can buy 10 bland, mass-market
>wonders, or 10 pop-schlock movie titles for the price of one expensive but
>astoundly great independently-produced work is pure sophistry, in my book.
>Similarly, making collection decisions based largely on the fear of what
>mischief your patrons might do, or based on a fear of pissing off
>miscreants with a high replacement bill seems more than a little cynical to
>I guess it all boils down to the question of what the mission of the
>library is and why we bother building collections at all. Are we pandering
>to what we perceive as the public's insatiable appetite for quick,
>pop-culture fixes; are we trying to build diverse collections for a diverse
>clientele, to support the production of diverse content...are we trying to
>balance all of this.
>If low cost, mass market entertainment is where we've finally come to
>rest--because of budget, or crisis of faith, or whatever--I think we might
>as well hand over the keys to Blockbuster and Barnes & Noble.
>At 12:26 PM 12/09/1999 -0800, you wrote:
>>Brace yourself for a home truth Gary, any public librarian who doesn't
>>include consideration of the "rip-off factor" when purchasing high dollar
>>material (of any format) either has a huge and unending budget (Ha!) or
>>hasn't been buying material very long, In most cases it is not a major
>>factor, but it is a factor. I worked in a branch library that opened the
>>building with 187 copies of the newest GED test guide; at the end of that
>>year there was one left that we could find, the others were MIA. This
>>sort of thing does go into calulating how much you can spend on what and
>>how often you can afford to replace it. Very few public libraries in
>>this state have any legal recourse to theft problems. The best most
>>muncipalities will allow is misdemeanor offenses and the state
>>legislature refuses to enact any legislation that will help enforcement,
>>even for major collection thefts. Reality 101: to buy wonderful stuff to
>>enlighten and amaze, you have to have funds aren't 90% dedicated to
>>replacing what goes missing. It's a nasty crunch sometimes.
>>Northeast Texas Library System
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>Media Resources Center
>UC Berkeley 94720-6000
>"Everything wants to become television" (James Ulmer -- Teletheory)