VHS Going Away In Lubbock Libraries

They're pulling VHS tapes off the shelf in Lubbock. I realize that you can't buy new ones any more, but is that reason to not check 'em out? I am guessing they don't get the check-out traffic they used to get, but it still saddens me. Kids (or their nimrod parents) are surprisingly good at ruining DVDs by inflicting lots of scratches. It's much harder to wreck a VHS tape.

Comments

Much harder to wreck a vhs tape

Really? I'd say not. I remember seeing the mouldy or blackened tapes we used to get back from people, ones where kids had poured their juice over the boxes, where the tapes had 'just a little wrinkle' in the tape.

Not saying dvd's/blu-ray are better with the inherent scratches but the vhs boxes could hide a multitude of sins.

I suppose the simple amount of space vhs tapes take up is the primary issue for many libraries

Vanishing VHS Tapes

Our library is weeding out VHS tapes on the basis of lack of use, but we still have people who use use them. Personally, I still own a VHS player and cassettes. I still use audio cassettes when I travel. My wife and I even bought some from a library book sale recently.

Eventually they will go the way of the 78s, but as long as they are being used VHS tapes have a place in the library.

Of disappearing formats

Ah, the poor VHS tape. Going the way of the stereoscope, 8 track tape, and 78 rpm record.

Our library still carries VHS tapes and they do circulate; not in the numbers they once did...and you can't easily purchase new ones nor I think would we even if we could...but people who still have VCRs continue to borrow our tapes. It's sad what a down economy will do to limit people's home entertainment options.

We'll continue to happily offer them for loan as long as demand (and the condition of those still in our collection) dictates.

As an aside on obsolescence: We pulled all of our books on cassette tape off the shelves last year. None had circulated since July, 2008. No one seems to miss them.

You circulate the machines

You circulate the machines and the staff becomes trouble shooters for all the machine issues- and how to get that darn blinking light to stop ;)

does anyone still own a VCR?

does anyone still own a VCR? maybe if they circulated the machines the tapes might still get used.

Yes

Actually, I'd guess millions of people still have VCRs; combo DVD/VCR units are still being sold. We still have an S-VHS VCR and use it infrequently, because there's no DVR that doesn't use an enormous amount of "vampire power" and we only tape one half-hour show a week, when it's on. But we don't borrow videocassettes from the library, and haven't in many years.

["Enormous amount": our electrical usage, our entire electrical usage, would increase 10% if we had a DVR.]

VCR

VCR is not hooked to the TV but I could if I needed it for something. I think the idea of circulating the machine with the tape is an interesting idea. I think that some thrift stores might be having a hard time selling VCRs anymore. I bet you could get some donated to the library.

Ultimately though the idea of lending machines is going to come with enough complications that it will not be worth doing.

When DVD players first came on the market I saw some that used a cartridge model. The DVD went into a cartridge which protected the DVD. You would then slide the cartridge into the player to watch the DVD. These were great for libraries because no one could touch the DVD. Problem is that most people did not have a machine that could use the cartridge so it only worked at the library. I wish they still sold these as "collector" DVD players. People that have a large personal collection of DVDs might like to have cartridges to protect their movies.

Lending VCR players

Our College Media Center lends VHS, DVDs, and also their respective players. Every once in a while there may be a player that doesn't come back but we have some hefty fines and replacement costs in such cases. :)

That is interesting about the encased DVDs. I recall the old ProQuest standalone kiosks machines had covered CD-ROMs, but I have never seen such a DVD. That would be especially helpful for kids rental DVDs which seem to always get the brunt of fingerprints, scratches, etc. :)

DVD-RAM

DVD-RAM originally used cartridges, but since most drives would handle everything except DVD-RAM, it became (and may still be) a niche product. In my experience with Netflix so far, the Blu-Ray hard coating really does make a difference: Most discs look like new.

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