Contact Information
last updated: 4/24/2012

Collection Development Policies - Media

Media Collection

  1. Introduction
    1. Description of institution/department and clientele
      Since 1975, the Media collection has supported the instruction and research needs of Indiana University faculty and students. The collection includes materials in six multimedia formats: spoken word audiocassettes, multimedia (includes audio and/or media) compact discs, three-quarter inch (U-matic) videocassettes, one-half inch VHS videocassettes, Laserdiscs, and DVDs. However, due to a lack of equipment and maintenance support, the purchase of three-quarter inch (U-matic) videocassettes and Laserdiscs is being phased out. The Media fund supports the purchase and licensing of databases and reference works to support media reference activity and the selection of media collection development resources. The Librarian for Media must separately consider the demand, format and characteristic of each medium to aid in collection development decisions.

      The Media fund purchases documentary, educational, performances, performance art, classic and popular feature films. Popular feature films, such as one might expect to find in a video rental store, are purchased only upon the request of an instructor to support classroom instruction or for research. Instructional materials, defined as meeting the narrow objectives of one particular course, are excluded. These materials are often an integral part of classroom instruction, analogous to laboratory materials, and should be purchased by the department. The music audiocassette and audio compact disc collections are housed in the Music Library.

      The Media collection supports most academic programs within the university, and includes all subject classifications. However, the collections are not evenly divided among the subject areas. Some subject areas are more frequently represented in the production of video and audio materials and more suitable for video or audio presentation, such as introductory film courses offered by the Department of Communication & Culture and Telecommunication. A limited number of films are also collected in the sciences for non-majors, such as DNA, and other PBS NOVA series.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Video recordings are collected in English and other languages with English subtitles. Foreign language productions without subtitles will not be purchased on the Media fund. However, they may be purchased on other funds and housed with the video collection. Audio: English language materials predominate, but no language is excluded.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      Video recordings: Although the collection includes materials produced throughout the world, most must be obtained through United States distributors due to compatibility problems. Programs will be purchased in the NTSC standard if available; programs in all other standards will be purchased on a highly selective basis. At this time, we are purchasing DVDs encoded for North America (Region 1) only. This may change if demand for international films on DVD cannot be met with North American releases. Audio: Materials from any country would be purchased, but materials produced in the United States predominate, due to availability.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      Priority is given to documentary programs produced within the past ten years. Older programs will be purchased only when they are classic titles or when it has been determined that no more recent production offers the save level of coverage -- in terms of content or quality. There are no chronological guidelines for the purchase of feature films.

    4. Formats collected and excluded
      Inclusions: Videocassettes in the one-half inch VHS format (NTSC preferred); Laserdiscs (CAV and CLV), level I interactivity; DVDs (Region 1 encoding); audiocassettes; multimedia compact discs.

      Exclusions: All other audiovisual formats; future purchases of three-quarter inch (U-matic) videocassettes and Laserdiscs (if a half-inch VHS or DVD will not supply the need). Printed resources are purchased on the Film Studies fund, except reference tools used to support the media collection.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The Librarian for Media is responsible for building and maintaining a multi-disciplinary collection of multimedia formats and video recordings that will support the Indiana University present and future undergraduate, graduate, faculty and researcher. The Librarian for Media will work with the Subject and Area Librarians and Media Coordinator in the selection process to build and enhance the collection.

  4. Related Collections
    1. The Film Studies' library pages (maintained by the Film Studies Librarian) includes resources on film history and criticism, video recordings on film studies, and feature films. Because Film Studies supports foreign language materials, it has been used to purchase foreign language feature films without subtitles. Video recordings purchased on the Film Studies fund are housed in Media Services, along with the other video recordings.

    2. The David S. Bradley 16mm Film Collection. The Lilly Library at IU Bloomington acquired the Bradley Film Collection in 1997 following the death of collector and filmmaker, David Shedd Bradley. The 3,200 16mm films comprise one of the most comprehensive film collections ever assembled by an individual collector. The collection spans the history of cinema in the United States and Europe, including both classic and obscure films from France, Germany, Italy, Russia, England, and Scandinavia, as well as the films of the world's most acclaimed filmmakers. The silent era is represented particularly well by the collection, which contains many short and feature-length films, including comedies produced by Mack Sennett and dramatic films by D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, and F. W. Murnau.

    3. Instructional Support Services' Media Resources houses a large collection of 16mm films and VHS videocassettes on a wide variety of subjects. Although they no longer purchase 16mm films (unless a title is unavailable on video), the majority of the collection is 16mm film. Films and video recordings are accessible to both students and faculty, and are available for rent in the continental United States.

    4. The Education, Journalism, Music, Halls of Residence Libraries collect video recordings. However, the video recordings in the Journalism Library must be viewed in the Journalism library unless reserved by faculty. The Halls of Residence Libraries collects music audiocassettes, and video recordings including some foreign and classic feature films, primarily for recreational purposes. However, the resources available in the Halls of Residence Libraries are available for circulation to Halls residents only.

    5. The Black Film Center/Archive, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, houses a collection of films that have substantial participation by African and African Americans as writers, actors, producers, directors, musicians, and consultants; or depict some aspect of the African and African American experience.

    6. The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction has a collection of erotic/pornographic films that constitutes a unique resource for research.

    7. The Media fund also contributes to the joint-purchase of specialized video recordings recommended by other subject or area funds to be shelved in Media Services. It does not contribute to the purchase of media resources for other regional libraries. Collection managers who would like to suggest a purchase on the Media fund or suggest a joint purchase for media resources should contact the Media Librarian.
  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    Overall Selection Criteria and Duplication: The Librarian for Media selects video and audio recordings for purchase from a number of sources: reviews, previews (television broadcasts, film festivals, media markets), and faculty, researcher, collection and fund manager requests.

    The Librarian for Media will purchase any faculty, researcher, librarian, collection or fund manager request that falls within the collection development policy and for which adequate funds exist. If the Librarian for Media does not purchase the title on the Media fund, she will explore rental sources and other library collection managers who may be willing to purchase the title. Once an item has been determined to fall within the collection parameters, it is evaluated according to the following specific criteria:
    • Accuracy/authoritativeness
    • Timeliness of information
    • Level of treatment (analytical vs. descriptive)
    • Technical quality
    • Aesthetic appeal
    • Relative cost
    The Librarian for Media makes every effort to assure acquisition of the best audio and video materials available. She relies on critical reviews for most selections. However, the librarian may request a preview copy from the distributor when: 1) the title has not be reviewed; or 2) the evaluations of two or more reviewers conflict. The Librarian for Media regularly consults the following review sources: Laser Scans: The DVD Newsletter , the Educational Media Review Online Database, The Video Librarian/Video Librarian Online, and AudioFile. All titles on the annual list of Notable Videos for Adults, selected by the ALA Video Round Table, will be evaluated for purchase.

    Media may duplicate titles in disciplines that may otherwise restrict use to departmental faculty and students, or residential use. Restrictive collections can include: the Black Film Center/Archive, the Department of Communication & Culture's 16mm film collection, Journalism, and the Halls of Residence.

    All purchases are subject to approval by the Librarian for Media, who reserves the right to return to a distributor material that does not meet expectations with regard to content or quality.

    Specific Selection Criteria - Feature Films: Feature films are purchased on one-half inch VHS, DVDs, and Laserdiscs. However, as more educational feature films become available on DVD, the purchase of one-half inch VHS and Laserdiscs declines. At this time, DVD is the preferred format and DVD play back equipment is available in the classroom. DVDs are less expensive and offer superior video and audio quality. However the demand for more educational documentaries on DVDs is improving. Laserdiscs are being purchased only when VHS or DVD versions with similar features cannot be located. For example, a widescreen Laserdisc would be purchased if no widescreen VHS or DVD were available.

    The feature film collection supports courses in Film Studies as well as a variety of other disciplines. Therefore, the collection includes the works of recognized directors and significant individual titles from the perspective of film scholarship. However, it also includes films that may never be recognized for their excellence but they contribute to teaching in other disciplines, such as history, sociology, anthropology, and English. Many foreign films in the collection are used by beginning and advanced language students. The feature film collection reflects these various uses.

    Selection of titles is made on the basis of reviews and faculty recommendations. As the collection reflects the research interests of the faculty as well as their instructional needs, some directors and some genres are collected more comprehensively than others. The Librarian for Media gives priority to films being taught in classes; faculty are encouraged to submit their course syllabi to ensure that films being taught are available in the library's collection.

    Popular, current-release video recordings of feature films are purchased upon the recommendation of faculty, with the assurance that they will be used for research and/or instruction. The Librarian for Media will also consider the purchase of popular, current-release video recordings based on films nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the American Film Institute "best" list, and the Library of Congress' National Preservation Registry List.

    Specific Selection Criteria - Spoken Word Audio: Spoken word audio is collected on audiocassette and audio compact disc. Compact disc is the preferred format, due to quality and durability. However, the availability of spoken word audio compact discs is limited. The spoken word audio collection includes speeches, dramatizations of plays, other dramatic readings, poetry readings, interviews, and lectures. "Books on tape" or "books on disc" are excluded from addition to the collection, although some were purchased in the past. Patrons will be encouraged to check with the Monroe County Public Library for both "books on tape" and "books on disc." Plays on tape or audio compact disc are one of the strengths of the collection. Significant plays and the work of significant playwrights receive top priority for selection.

  6. Preservation
    Media resources will be placed in the Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF), as needed, according to the following criteria and in consultation with the faculty, collection managers, and Subject and Area Librarians: outdated media formats, such as the three-quarter inch (U-matic) videocassettes; older reference resources which have been cancelled and are duplicated elsewhere in the IUB Libraries.

  7. Other Resources and Libraries
    In 2001, Jerry and Phyllis McCullough, former owners of Bloomington's Classical Film and Music donated a generous gift of over 8,000 videos to the IUB Libraries. The purpose of the browsing collection is primarily to support the extracurricular and outreach interests of the Indiana community, including all residents of Indiana and the Indiana University academic community. The collection contains performance art, documentary, foreign language, classic and popular films, and is designed to offer an eclectic and diverse collection of popular and educational films.

    Collection development for the existing browsing collection is enhanced by purchase requests from both Indiana residents and the Indiana University academic community. The Librarian for Media will selectively consider all patron requests to enhance the browsing collection. Some of the above criteria listed may be considered in the final selection.

Media Collection Home Page

Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/24/2012