Is it possible for the Media Services Center to have a book made with the front covers of all of their DVDs included and kept at their front desk for browsing purposes? It is extremely difficult and frustrating to browse the collection online!
Thank you for your recent suggestion that a book or binder be made that shows the front covers of all of our DVDs, and would be kept at the front desk for browsing purposes.
We know that students and faculty are often frustrated at their inability to browse Paley’s DVD collection. Our DVDs are kept in “closed stacks” which means they are not visible to the public the way our books are. So the primary way to discover what DVDs the library has is to browse using Diamond, our online catalog. But this too can sometimes be frustrating to use when trying to locate videos.
The idea then of having the DVD case or cover artwork for every DVD printed out and organized in a book so someone could just browse by flipping through it, seems like an eminently practical solution–one that several patrons have suggested in the past. Upon further reflection though, it becomes clear that this is something that our library (and most other large university libraries with large media collections) would not be able to do.
We have over 8,000 DVD and VHS films and are constantly adding new titles every month. To organize and assemble all the covers for these DVDs (and in instances where we did not have cover artwork, actually creating the artwork), then print them on regular paper and assemble them, would be a herculean task. Just think of the amount of time, paper, and personnel required to create such a massive book and then keep it maintained and updated. I think you’d agree that this would perhaps not be the best use of the library’s resources.
So what is the answer? Well, we have good news!
First, we have a brand new Media Services Department where you can find all our videos (it opened in February of 2009). You can always get help finding DVDs by contacting Media Services directly, either by phone (215-204-8204), by email (email@example.com) or by coming to the Media Services Desk in person, located on ground floor of Paley library. Our knowledgeable, friendly and helpful staff would be more than happy to work with you one-on-one to help you find what you are looking for.
Second, you can search the Diamond catalog specifically for DVDs by selecting the video/DVD tab. This will get you into the video collection faster and more efficiently than the keyword search.
Third, you can check out the easy-to-use Media Services blog, where each month we post complete lists of new arrivals http://blog.library.temple.edu/media_services/. Our blog has an RSS feed that allows you to regularly receive a notice each time we update our blog (come see us if you want to learn more about using the RSS feed).
And fourth, you can browse our new display of DVDs in the Leisure Reading section, on the main level, near the Reference Desk. Here on the shelves we’ve placed a selection of DVD cases, showing new arrivals and other titles of interest for patrons.
While we are not yet able to offer a completely accessible and physically browseable video collection, we’d like to think we’ve come a long way in improving service and access for the library’s video collection. We do hope that the options we’ve presented here will help alleviate your frustration.
We’ll see you at the movies!