Re: hard realities-public libraries and the selection process

Jean McCarron (
Fri, 10 Dec 1999 12:41:19 -0800 (PST)

In fact, in public libraries the type of material that gets ripped off is
not expensive excellent film anyway - it is of course the cheap pop
material. And therefore we mostly don't feel too bad not ordering likely
rip-off material in the first place.

However - I don't think you can get away with refusing to buy good quality
video for your collection simply because a patron won't pay for loss. I
think one thing public library librarians often don't even TRY to do is to
negotiate with the vendors of these "expensive jewels" for a deal on
replacement copies if they go MIA - or for "archival rights" of some sort.
I have found vendors willing to agree to a replacement within the first
year (for any reason) at $50 (or even less) Or for a certain figure I can
buy archival rights...make one copy and leave it in storage to bring out
and put in the collection in the event the original bites the dust. These
kinds of negotiations were difficult and met with suspicion a few years
ago, but are becoming easier for me all the time. Essentially this is
because very few "quality" videos do in fact go missing or are destroyed,
so the original fears vendors might have had of constant replacement and
abuse of the agreement just hasn't happened.

Media librarians in academic settings are used to the idea of negotiation
of rights, prices etc. but public librarians need to think a little more
creatively too. Admittedly, I am talking Canadian vendors/producers of
independent film above....but worth a try on your side of the border?

Jean A. McCarron
Audiovisual Collections Coordinator
North Vancouver District Public Library
1280 East 27th Street North Vancouver BC Canada V7J 1S1
TEL. DIRECT LINE: (604)990-5817
TEL. LIBRARY: (604)990-5800 FAX: (604)984-7600
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