From Fiefdom to Cyber-state (of the Art): the Evolution of the Audio-Visual Department in an Academic Library
Audio-Visual Services of Ryerson University Library in Canada is an exemplary case of the way an academic library has evolved to meet the challenges of managing multimedia information in the physical and virtual world, while adapting to changes in the library’s administrative structure. For many years, the department was an almost autonomous unit with its own space for physical materials and supervised by dedicated staff. In the last ten years, AV has undergone re-organization twice. The physical integration of AV staff and collections with Interlibrary Loans, Circulation and Reserve was a significant shift amidst the library’s move to teams-based management. In addition, AV has had to keep pace with technological change, which has revolutionized audio-visual information access, at the same time as the exponential growth of the university’s Distance Education department, by offering on-line alternatives to traditional physical formats. These include music and image databases accessed through the Library web site, and streamed videos through E-Reserve within the University’s Blackboard e-learning portal. Securing digital rights for streamed delivery has led to unprecedented collaboration with e-learning and copyright stakeholders in the university, and site licenses for public performance rights (required for class screenings under Canadian copyright law) with the two major distributors have greatly increased our buying power for feature films (which cannot be streamed). A brave new world has emerged for the AV department in acquiring and managing digital resources, while it is still striving to purchase and preserve VHS, DVD and older media, such as 16 mm films.
Patrick, Susan and Cheung, Ophelia, "From Fiefdom to Cyber-state (of the Art): the Evolution of the Audio-Visual Department in an Academic Library" (2007). Librarian and Staff Presentations. Paper 5.