21st-Century Collection Development Strategies for Media

More than 70 people attended the Video Round Table Chair’s Program “21st-Century Collection Development Strategies for Media” on Saturday, June 23, at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Four speakers shared their experiences and perspectives of building collections and services effectively for streaming video and other media.

Cartoon two-tone grey mobile tablet with a widescreen, that is streaming a video using a video sharing application, that is showing a green background with a grey camera and a red play sign logo.
Cartoon Mobile Tablet Streaming a Video Online by Vector Toons • CC BY-SA 4.0

Heath Martin, associate dean for collection strategy and management at Stony Brook University Libraries, described the landscape of streaming video from his experiences during the last several years. Stony Brook University Libraries have engaged in different strategies and multiple acquisition models in developing streaming video collections. The goal is to provide the most content and access to streaming videos for the users to support the research and teaching of the university. Their strategy is to move away from formats such as VHS and DVD and expand the streaming video collection. The libraries adopted four main modes of acquisition: firm order, subscription, demand-driven acquisition, and evidenced-based acquisition for streaming videos. The trend is moving away from the subscription model toward demand-driven acquisition. In the future, they will continue to work with most of these models, but they anticipate growth in demand-driven and evidence-based acquisition, both of which permit more budget flexibility.

Kathleen Kasten, head of humanities and social sciences at Stony Brook University Libraries, shared her experiences working with streaming video in various aspects, including customer service, course integration, evaluation of the collection, preparing video content, and working with vendors. Stony Brook University Libraries have worked with many access models for streaming video. Licensing, accessibility, and how patrons use the content are important issues. At Stony Brook University Libraries, librarians provide workshops and research guides to help patrons use streaming video collections. Liaison librarians work with different or multiple departments to help faculty and students get access to the collection. Social media, a strong web presence, and consultation are used to help patrons to use streaming video. Librarians evaluate streaming video resources to ensure that they serve the curriculum and fit into the existing resources. They also ensure the disciplinary diversity of streaming video for the community. Accessibility and the ability to share the film such as in the class are essential, too. The ongoing question is how to pay for streaming video, as well as how many people use or teach with streaming video. Budget, sustainability, and longstanding needs are some of the issues to consider.

Katheryn Warzak of Tulane University discussed her friend Nicole’s experience of distributing a documentary film with Kanopy. It’s difficult to make money when making a documentary film. A filmmaker needs to consider how to distribute a film and deal with different rights, such as educational rights, which are complicated. From the point of view of a filmmaker, Kanopy is a good distribution platform.

Lisa Hooper, also of Tulane University, discussed the film ecosystem from filmmaker to distributor to library. She talked about the impact of the license agreement between the filmmaker and the distributor. Library purchasing choices have an impact on the filmmaker, as well. Three areas play a role a key role in shaping uses permitted by license agreements for film distribution: term or duration of the license agreement, exclusive rights, and payment to the filmmaker. Whether you are a librarian or individual purchasing streaming video, your ability to access a film and preserve it long-term will be affected by its license agreements. Distributors have different payment methods based on different permissions and missions. Hooper discussed the ways that filmmakers made money through various payment models. As collection budgets suffer drops, libraries must advocate for themselves as well as filmmakers in order to spend library funds wisely when purchasing streaming video.

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