Libraries buy what patrons want: DVDs

Johnson County Daily Journal (That's from Johnson County,IN) takes a look at some collection development issues that are common to public libraries. Area librarians say the rise in DVD titles on library shelves is a matter of supply and demand.

More patrons are demanding the DVD version of their favorite films, and fewer distributors are supplying VHS tapes. But Emery said the Franklin library will not phase out its VHS options anytime soon. The library still plays an important role in supplying the format as rental and retail stores begin favoring DVD choices, she said.

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Funny thing is...

DVDs, in my experience, don't seem to hold up very well in a circulating library. In my last public library experience (last year) we were having trouble with brand new DVDs shattering, a single scratch making them unusable, etc. Meanwhile, the VHS version, while cumbersome, was still on the shelf after 15 years and 100+ checkouts. Four minutes of crinkled tape wasn't always grounds for removal from the collection. I'm not sure how viable they are going to be for long-term archival storage of information.

A matter of choice

DVDs are increasingly the preferred choice for many people. And VHS is slowly being phased out. Like music CDs have replaced cassettes over time, DVDs will replace videocassettes. Although, there are still people who watch videos. So, libraries should follow this growing trend and provide more DVDs but still cater for those who watch videos.

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