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Media Center

Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the Media collection is to support the instruction and research needs of Long Island University faculty and students. The media collections include materials in the following audiovisual formats: audiocassettes, audio compact discs, slides, 1/2" VHS videocassettes, laser videodiscs, digital video discs (DVD) and CD-ROMs. Due to the great differences in cost, content, availability and adaptability between all of these formats, collection development decisions must frequently consider these media separately.

The media collection includes  spoken word  and musical audiocassettes and audio compact discs, CD-ROMs, computer disks, educational video recordings, documentaries, animation, video recordings of live performances, and feature films.

As the Media collections support most academic programs within the university, they include 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.



Video: English and any other language with English subtitles. Currently there has been no demand for foreign language videos. If a need for this material develops, then this policy can be reconsidered.

Audio: English language materials predominate, but no language is excluded.


Documentary/Educational titles: Priority is given to documentary/educational 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.

Feature films: There are no chronological guidelines for the purchase of feature films, although it is the intention of the Librarian to acquire new releases in as timely and economical a way as possible.  The addition of the DVD format means that new releases are now available at a fraction of the cost of VHS, making it feasible to have a film collection that reflects recent trends in American and World cinema.


Video: 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.

Audio: Materials from any country would be purchased, but materials produced in the United States predominate, due to availability.


Videocassettes in the 1/2" VHS format (NTSC preferred); laser videodiscs (CAV and CLV), level I interactivity; digital video discs, (DVD); CD-ROMs, slides, audiocassettes; audio compact discs.


 The Media Librarian selects video and audio for purchase from a number of sources: reviews, previews (television broadcasts, film festivals, film markets), and faculty requests.  Faculty request may come from two different sources: individual members of the faculty can send requests directly to the Media Librarian, or they can submit their requests to their Library -Faculty liason, whichever is most convenient or expedient. The Library will purchase any request that falls within the collection development policy and for which adequate funds exist. If the Library does not purchase the title the Librarian will explore rental sources and inform the requestor of their options vis a vis the title. It will then fall to the requestor to obtain the film, either personally or through his/her department.

Once an item has been determined to fall within the collection parameters, it is evaluated according to the following specific criteria:

                            Timeliness of information
Level of treatment (analytical vs. descriptive)
                            Technical quality
Aesthetic appeal
                            Relative cost

The Librarian 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 been reviewed or 2) the evaluations of two or more reviewers conflict. The Librarian regularly consults the following review sources: Video Librarian, MC Journal, Choice, Booklist, TLS, and any other journal that reviews audio-visual material for a particular field. In addition she is constantly scanning the catalogues sent to her, for new and relevant releases and keeping an eye on the current video and film releases in the mass market, the independent market and the documentary market, through the perusal of newspapers, film journals, web sites and other periodicals.

All purchases are subject to approval by the Librarian, who reserves the right to return to distributors materials that do not meet expectations with regard to content or quality.


Feature films are purchased on 1/2" VHS , DVD, and laserdisc. At this time VHS is the dominant format. However, the Audio Visual Department has acquired DVD players to lend to faculty, and some departments have installed DVD players in their classrooms. Therefore, new titles will be purchased on DVD when available, and on VHS if DVD is not available. The Media Librarian is currently building a core DVD collection, which will focus on enhancing our existing VHS collection and will also replace worn out or damaged VHS tapes with DVDs when possible. Titles we currently own on laserdisc will not be replaced with DVD.

The feature film collection supports courses in Media Arts 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 which contribute to teaching in other disciplines, such as  business, management, marketing, history, sociology, anthropology, and English. 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 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 only upon the recommendation of faculty, with the assurance that they will be used for research and/or instruction.


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. Currently, "books on tape" or "books on disc" are excluded from addition to the collection, although this is a policy that may be reconsidered if a strong argument is presented. This type of collection could be useful for those members of the University community who have difficulty reading.  This collection of books on tape then would focus mainly on literary or scholarly works that are available in unabridged formats.


Due to the rapid expansion of the Music Department and the varied needs of the faculty in this field, many new music titles are being added to the collection. The majority of these titles are faculty requests/recommendations. It is expected that in the next academic year the Music Faculty will meet with the Library to discuss their specific interests/ needs in this area. Once these have been identified, the Library faculty will build the music collection in the same way other collections are built, through a combination of faculty recommendations and the Library’s own collection development activities.

Created by A. Slonosky 3/04
Long Island University Brooklyn Campus LIU Libraries