Restrictions on AV Materials (ILL Trends & Challenges)

Increasing patron demand combined with local restrictions on AV materials are interfering with the patron self-service aspect of MnLINK. Some libraries choose not to loan AV materials, particularly DVDs, outside of their region via interlibrary loan. This is a challenge because patrons who do not understand these restrictions when placing requests for these items are not receiving the requested materials. Staff requesting AV items at the statewide level also have difficulties knowing or remembering which systems have restrictions, creating extra steps in the requesting process.

Circulation & Reimbursement Policies

Identifying the libraries that choose not to circulate AV materials will help save time for staff requesting the materials at the statewide level. However, this could be challenging as each library has the freedom to circulate materials based on their individual mission statements, circulation policies, and goals. While regional systems may stress the importance of sharing AV materials, libraries still have the right to create their own restrictions and policies.

Regulating due dates and circulation policies and creating a standard renewal policy for AV materials would benefit the patron and the library staff who process materials. If library staff could be guaranteed a short turn-around time, they may be more willing to loan out their desired AV materials. The selected time frame would allow enough time for the delivery process and travel time to take place and enough time for the patron to enjoy the materials requested. Patrons can be made aware of limited loan periods and the need for a speedy return of ILL materials at checkout with bookmarks or signage. Most patrons value ILL service and will participate in keeping materials accessible by voluntarily limiting their use of the material.

Clearly stated reimbursement policies and easy processes for reimbursement at the regional level will help ease fears of lost and damaged materials. Making staff aware of the importance of resource sharing leads to better service at all locations. Better customer service and improved access to ILL services improves our status locally and regionally. Open and easy access to materials creates our positive image in the community we serve.

Potential Solutions

Some possible solutions to this issue:

  • Libraries can purchase two copies of a specific title at a discounted price (one to circulate, one marked for local use).
  • Libraries can use Netflix or other streaming video options (like Hulu.com) to help supplement collections.
  • Libraries can create community partnerships to help supplement collections.
  • Libraries can balance cost of lending and purchasing – consider purchase as viable ILL option.
  • Libraries can implement longer time for loan periods.
  • Libraries as borrowers can set loan length on AV materials to insure fewer re-requests.
  • Libraries can insure that the AV materials which are not available for interlibrary loan have a collection code that does not allow reserves for ILL patrons.

Contact Us

Minitex
University of Minnesota
Wilson Library, Room 60
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: 612-624-4002
Toll-Free: 800-462-5348
Fax: 612-624-4508