[minervacirc] 3-Week AV Minerva Loan Rules - 6 Months Later

Josh Tiffany jtiffany at gray.lib.me.us
Thu Jan 8 16:15:58 EST 2015

With the Minerva Executive Committee making its final decision on whether to
permanently implement the 3-week AV checkout rule at its upcoming meeting, I
would like to share the observations and conclusions I've reached regarding
this policy.



Waiting Times


>From July 2014 to December 2014, the ratio of holds to items (# of holds /
number of items) has decreased from an average of 6.5 to 4.4.  During the
same time, the average wait period for a high-demand item increased from 37
days to 55 days.  This indicates that libraries, as a whole, were purchasing
greater quantities of high demand items yet the waiting time has increased.


When compared to other material types, DVDs as a whole have a much lower
purchase rate than printed material types.  There are few select titles that
reach 20 copies while most popular titles average about 11 copies.  By
comparison, popular books regularly see between 50  to 100 copies.


Extremely long waiting periods were witnessed for moderately popular /
requested materials where only a few items were purchased.  As of December
10, the film Ride Along, added to the catalog on 4/30/2014, has 4 items and
12 holds.  The oldest hold is from July 7, 2014. ((UPDATE: As of January
8th, the hold list has decreased to 9 with the oldest being from July 16th)


Blu-Ray, combo-packs, and music CDs are especially hard hit as there are
only a handful of libraries that purchase these materials.  Examples: Belle
= 12 holds on 2 item; Captain America: The Winter Soldier = 10 holds on 1
item; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes = 11 holds on 1 item; Guardians of the
Galaxy = 17 holds on 1 item; Edge of Tomorrow = 14 holds on 1 item; Jersey
Boys = 14 holds on 1 item.  


With the potential for a 3-week checkout per hold, it means libraries may
literally have to wait up to a year for an item to move through the hold
list before getting back onto the home library's shelf.



TV series as driving force of the policy


At the outset of the policy change, it was stated that the primary reason
for the change from 1-week to 3-week was the increased popularity of DVD
series which could not be watched in a single week.


Since January 1, 2012 10,758 bib-records added with material type of DVD;
84% of items have running time of less than 300 minutes while 16% have
running times in excess of 5 hours.  Among these items purchased in the last
3 years, there are 1,000 with 3 or more discs.  Of these 850 were purchased
by 3 or fewer libraries while only 42 were purchased by 10 or more


This number demonstrates the while TV series do grow in popularity, there
are very few libraries that are providing the bulk of the materials to the
collection and as a result experience the negative impact of this policy.  


Since January 1, 2012, 66,783 items have been added to the system with
item-types of DVD, Blu Ray, Combo, or Music CD.  Of those items, a total of
9,170 had 3 or more discs included.  This means that 13.73% of overall AV
buying is "series".  


In the past three years, there were as many individual music CDs added to
the collection as there were TV series.


It was also stated that the policy was implemented to prevent confusion on
the part of the patron.  In examining local loan rules for the 40 copies of
Downton Abbey Season 3, 27 libraries locally check the item out 7 or 14 days
while 13 libraries check it out for 21 days.  If a goal was to prevent
confusion, how is this accomplished by having differing due dates by a
margin of 2:1 for local versus ILL copies?



I very much hope that the Minerva Executive Board will reconsider this
course of action.  The 3-week loan rule was established to address to small
percentage of the overall AV collection, creates more confusion on the part
of the patron regarding due dates, increases waiting times for high demand
items, and is punitive to the libraries who expend their collection
development funds on more unique offerings.  Personally, I purchase titles
that I believe would serve my local community - this is not accomplished by
purchasing materials that I know will leave home and not return for up to a


As always, I am hopeful there will be more voices to add to the discussion
so that the Executive Board will make its final implementation decision with
full insight into the feelings of its members.


Thank you for your kind attentions.





Joshua Tiffany, MLIS

Director - Gray Public Library

(207) 657-4110

jtiffany at gray.lib.me.us


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