Compass is an archive of Library news from 2005 - 2008. For the latest Library news check the Library Blogs.
Compass Newsletter Masthead
   Volume II, Issue 2
November 2005   

Faculty Update: Falvey media collection goes DVD

By Michael Hoffberg

Classics such as “Arsenic & Old Lace” and the ever popular “Shock Therapy: The Last Resort” are some titles Falvey recently acquired on DVD.

Falvey’s media collection officially switched to acquiring only DVDs over a year ago. DVD is now the principal format used by educational institutions, corporations and the entertainment industry. VHS is on the verge of joining ½” Betamax and ¾” Umatic as an obsolete format, and so our switch to DVD was inevitable and necessary to keep up with current technologies.

Media Technologies & Creative Design Department (formerly Instructional Media Services) will no longer be acquiring program titles on VHS if they can be obtained on DVD. We will, however, continue to fully support VHS playback in the classroom until our extensive VHS video collection completely changes over to DVD, which may take a few years.

Since a number of classrooms are not yet equipped with DVD playback, we have presented several alternatives to assist faculty until the University budget permits us to install DVD players in all classrooms. Within the scope of our existing resources, we will certainly do our best to obtain as many players as we can over a period of time.

For those who need to show a DVD, there are several options:

If you have a University laptop, and are assigned to a room with a video/data projection system, you can utilize the DVD playback capability that already exists on your laptop. If you are not familiar with this function, either our MT/CD technicians (610-519-5631) or the Center for Instructional Technology staff (610-519-6637) will show you how to hook-up the laptop for DVD playback in a classroom with a projection system.

If you do not have a laptop and/or are assigned a room with only a TV/VCR set-up (no data projector), we have several lightweight, portable DVD players for check-out. Since we have a limited number of these units, please reserve, pick-up and return the player for the same time period that you schedule the DVD program. You can make an appointment with our staff who will show you how to connect the portable players to the equipment in your classroom.

Media Technologies & Creative Design will assist you in any way possible during this transition. While the DVD collection starts to increase and the VHS collection shrinks, the probability is that the existing titles you borrow from our collection will still be on VHS. However, we do recommend to anyone showing a DVD to first determine your assigned classroom's capability. If the room is not DVD equipped and you're required to use your laptop or one of our portable players, you may wish to make an appointment in advance of your class to schedule training, as well as to reserve the DVD player. We anticipate that this format shift will be as smooth and painless as possible.

Michael Hoffberg is head of Media Technologies & Creative Design and associate director of Falvey Memorial Library.