RE: Public libraries and video collections

sgilliam@GUILFORD.EDU
Tue, 14 Dec 1999 06:17:52 -0800 (PST)

At Guilford College, we primarily let our faculty build our video
collection.
I know it is conventional wisdom that PBS documentaries are good...
but often they are too long to be useful in a single class period. In
order to fill up the approximately
one-hour TV time slot, there are sometimes draggy places in the films.
These may serve
to enhance mood, or just to add some "-tainment" into the "info." I would
say some of the NOVA shows
are guilty of this, as well as the Africans in America series. Many NOVA
programs could be
reduced to a half-hour without losing anything, in my humble opinion. The
Africans in America series
is beautiful and moving, but could have richer factual content, or could be
shortened.
(Yes, PBS has helpfully indexed a lot of their titles.)
There seem to be two kinds of faculty....one who will take the time
to research and preview other materials.
And theother who love anything on PBS, and assumes those programs are
better than anything that came before. This group ignores the large number
of independent films and even older (and shorter) titles which may deal
perfectly well with the same subject areas.
I try to keep them both informed of the variety of resources
available.

This posting also relates to the issue of "Quality," or "value." It
depends on the intended use or purpose of the
title, as well as "production values," and so forth.