Re: [Videolib] video browsing collection: LOC or "some other system"?

From: Susan Albrecht <>
Date: Wed Aug 12 2009 - 08:34:55 PDT

Good points all, of course.

One thing I should have noted is that we *do* hold back a handful of
items, mark them as "Circ Reserve," and continue to house them in a
closed setting, behind the circulation desk. They do still circulate
when needed, but people obviously aren't going to find them on a
browsing trip, only via the catalog or a video database search, and
they're less likely to just walk, being housed back there.

That is obviously something to consider -- does your institution have
a sizable subset of pricey docs and educational titles? Because our
primary purpose is also to support the curriculum (and I try to
bolster by buying what I know is likely to fit in there, too), we do
have (relatively speaking) a fair number of those big-buck
titles. Then again, because we only have a couple of faculty who are
actively involved in film studies, the research aspect of the
collection is minimal... and I know that's a BIG difference from Berkeley's.

You also would have a larger number of potential pilferers, and it's
hard to know if thievery is simply a proportional kind of thing or if
the odds gets worse with a larger pool.

I suspect the answer to your final question, Gary, is one which will
vary significantly from institution to institution. We have an
all-male student body so, LOL, I think we tend to see offering
popular titles as a nice boost to their less-fun (during the week
anyway) social lives. ;) To get serious for a moment, though, this
economic downturn has affected my acquisitions budget -- both print
and media -- significantly this year, and facing those more limited
dollars means we're going to have to make that priority determination
more firmly... with curricular support pretty sure to win out.


At 11:18 AM 8/12/2009, you wrote:
>Well...I was thinking about the issue of open vs closed collections last
>nite (get a life, Gary)and it occurred to me that a the decision to go one
>way or another has a great deal to do with a number of critical factors:
>the nature of the institution and its clients; the nature/size of the
>collection; the collection budget; and--most important--the short and long
>term mission of the collection. Such a decision must also take into
>consideration evolving content markets and access trends.
>My fairly steadfast "anti-open" position stems from the fact that Berkeley
>has a very large and very diverse collection: a mix of tape and DVDs; a
>mix of fiction and non-fiction films; a mix of inexpensive home video and
>costly indie stuff, commonly found titles and rarities. The collection
>serves multiple functions and missions (and this is a key factor): first
>and foremost, as a collection supporting specific curricular needs; as an
>interdisciplinary research collection; and, only lastly, as a general
>entertainment and extracurricular viewing resource.
>Our policy of not circulating materials to students (for screening outside
>of MRC)and our closed stacks are the thing students dislike most about
>us...they bitch endlessly about it, and I'm vaguely sympathetic. These
>complaints have to be balanced with the benefits of preserving and making
>available materials which are often central to teaching...materials which
>increasingly have a sneaky way of becoming "archival" over time due to the
>vagaries of the distribution market. Believe me, the ire of a faculty
>person who is unable to instantly score a title needed for class screening
>far outweighs the ire of a student who wants the same or others titles for
>recreational viewing.
>I'm pleased to hear that shrinkage isn't an issue for you,
>must have a stand-up campus population. In my experience, it's even
>difficult to get faculty to bring stuff back on time...I can't imagine the
>complete havoc wreaked in a world in which students had a direct whack at
>the collection.
>One has to wonder, also: in an age when recreational access to popular
>video titles is ubiquitous and cheap, shouldn't the long-term preservation
>and curricular support mission of academic video collections take
>precedent over other uses? And shouldn't the organization and access
>policies of collections support these goals?
>Gary Handman
> > Eh, I'm not as sure you'll see the inventory shrinkage Gary is
> > suggesting, Scott. We've had our VHS collection in open stacks for a
> > good 7 or 8 years and shifted the DVDs from closed to open 3 years
> > ago. Last year we also made the switch to shelving the DVD *cases*
> > in the stacks but storing the discs themselves in sleeves behind the
> > circ desk. We had a similar jump in circulation after going to open
> > shelving, with very little inventory shrinkage, *especially* since
> > this last step of separating the discs from the cases was instituted.
> >
> > After much discussion and disagreement, we decided to not interfile
> > the VHS & DVD, although they're located in the same general area. My
> > contention is that people who want to just browse tend to know which
> > format they want, and having to wade through both can be
> > annoying. We also use LC call numbering, for what that's
> > worth. Good luck, Maureen!
> >
> > Susan Albrecht
> >
> >
> >

Susan Albrecht
Acquisitions Manager
Wabash College Lilly Library
Crawfordsville, IN

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."--Neil Peart

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.
Received on Wed Aug 12 08:34:38 2009

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