Media Materials & Reserves
Purpose, Subject Boundaries, and General Objectives:
The media collections serve the evolving instructional and research needs of the Washington State University faculty and students. Media materials are collected in suitable formats for Pullman campus classroom support, for use in the on-site Learning Resources Center, for transmission over Academic Media Services (AMS), and for shipment to the branch campuses, other instructional facilities, and to WSU students off campus in extended degree programs, student teaching assignments or other off-campus missions. Media materials are also circulated throughout the state and region for a small nominal charge.
The collections include materials in eight audiovisual formats: audiocassettes, audio compact discs, reel-to-reel audio tapes, 16mm films, 3/4"(U-matic) videocassettes, 1/2" VHS videocassettes, DVD, laser videodiscs and CD-ROMs. Collections of LP records, slides, and slide-tape sets are also still housed and will be as long as there is demand for these items although these items are being weeded and phased out. Of the audiovisual formats mentioned, only three of these formats (audio compact discs, DVD, and CD-ROMs) are actively purchased.
The collections are intended to be instructional in purpose. They include spoken word and musical audiocassettes and audio compact discs; they also include educational video recordings and laser videodiscs as well as some feature films. In considering the difference between an audiocassette and a compact disc or the difference between a ½" VHS videocassette and a laser videodisc or a DVD, the CD or the DVD are preferred but an item’s availability may be an overwhelming factor. At present, DVDs are preferred for their fine viewing experience and the fact that professors can run them from their laptops (starting, stopping and cueing at will) over the campus network.
Popular feature films on DVD requested in support of instruction or research have been purchased for the Film Studies minor offered at WSU. This has included many purchases of foreign language films on DVD, including special purchases of French, Francophone, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish foreign films.
As the media collections support many academic programs across the curriculum on several campuses, they include all subject categories. However, these collections are not uniformly divided across all subject areas.Special Collections:
The CDM collection (music compact discs) contributes to the edification and enjoyment of the university community. See: Music.
In 1982, the Libraries received a valuable collection of RKO Radio Picture films from the family of the late broadcasting executive and station owner, J. Elroy McCaw. This collection of 436 RKO feature-length films and 27 World War II documentaries all produced between the years 1930-1953 is known as the J. Elroy McCaw Memorial Film Collection.
In 1989, the Libraries entered into an agreement with the University of Idaho to create a joint Regional Media Repository (RMR). The RMR (containing media items purchased by both universities) is housed on the Washington State University campus. This collection serves both campuses.
In 1991, the Libraries received 937 reels of radio programs from the collection of Paul C. Pitzer of Portland. Oregon. It is known as the Pitzer Vintage Radio Program Collection.
In 1996, the Murrow School of Communication received and will continue to receive a gift of a collection of old-time radio broadcasts from Pat McCoy of the TriCities. In the future it will be known as the "Reel McCoy Collection" and it will be used as a resource for faculty, students, and the community.Scope of Coverage:
- Languages: For instructional materials outside the foreign languages classroom, priority is given to English and other languages with English subtitles. For audio CDs or audiocassettes in the spoken word, no language is excluded.
- Closed Captioning: Instructional productions with closed captioning are preferred whenever they are available.
- Chronology: Priority is given to educational productions of recent origin although older programming is added if it is classic and/or timely. There are no chronological guidelines for the purchase of feature films.
- Geography: DVDs encoded for Region 1 (U.S. and Canada) are preferred when they are available. Most video productions are purchased from U. S. distributors in NTSC standard; PAL is purchased only in rare instances with an agreement from the distributor that it may be converted to NTSC. Audio productions may be purchased from the distributors of the countries of the world but most are purchased from U. S. distributors.
DVDs are the major format collected. Federal government CD-ROMs that were sent to libraries with depository shipments are collected and housed in the media area. A few multimedia CD-ROMs are purchased and evaluated for the collection. Audiocassettes are generally purchased via the music policy.Selection Procedures and Criteria:
Timeliness of Information
Level of Treatment
Feature films support the curriculum; the Libraries’ media collection is never supposed to overlap that found in local video stores. Considered "classic," these films generally represent the works of nationally- and internationally-recognized directors. Occasionally lesser-renown feature films will be added that contribute to the teaching and scholarship in disciplines other than film studies including history, sociology, American studies, anthropology, and comparative ethnic studies. Our feature films in languages other than English are used in language classrooms as well as for faculty, student, and staff viewing.
Although current, popular feature films generally are not purchased, instructional faculty are encouraged to recommend titles for this collection. After all, today’s feature is tomorrow’s classic. Reflecting both the instructional needs and the research interests of our faculty and students, it is acknowledged that some directors and genres are collected more comprehensively than others.Spoken Word Audio:
Spoken word audio including speeches, dramatization of plays, other dramatic readings, poetry readings, interviews, and lectures are collected on both compact disc and audio cassette. Compact disc is now the preferred format. "Books on Tape" or "Books on Disc" are not generally collected.