The Public Perspective
A year ago my library made the big decision to re-purpose our audiovisual room to accommodate our growing teen community. This new teen space would come equipped with doors and would give the teens room to breathe and talk without getting shushed every two seconds. It has been a blessing, and the successes we've experienced because of this big decision have been surprising.
But moving the teens meant moving the entire audiovisual collection. In many ways, moving a dying collection. How used are our DVDs, music CDs, and audiobooks? Is the cost of purchase worth the small circulation and lost/damaged rate? Hoe much longer will these mediums be available for purchase and use by patrons? These were the questions we pondered as we decided what to do with the collection.
Like reference, this was something we didn't really have an answer to. After running the numbers, we determined that it was time to get rid of our music CDs. They were old. The new ones purchased were promptly stolen, and with the popularity of iTunes and other mp3 purchasing mediums, it wasn't worth the library's small budget to continue purchasing in this particular area. There were some unhappy patrons, but overall, most of the community didn't even realize they were gone.
DVDs are another story. We've gotten rid of all of our VHS tapes, but I'm struggling to get our DVDs moving. There are certain titles that go are never in (haven't seen Downton Abbey in months!), but our older titles don't really leave the shelves. I've tried displays. I've tried Facebook posts. But I'm not sure what to do? We have at least 5 Redbox machines within a three mile radius. Is it worth it for the library to continue to purchase DVDs with the availability of new releases for a $1 at every convenience store?
Not sure what we're going to do. With the rise of streaming, you're left to wonder if DVDs will still be available for purchase in the next couple of years. But I'd love to hear what your libraries are doing! Have you made any big changes to your collection or found a great way to get them moving off the shelf?