Frequently Asked Questions
and Contact Information for Media Policies and Procedures
(Revised 19 Jan 2006)
- Q: If media are supposed to be treated more or less
the same way as books, why do they have a one-week loan rather than
the usual book loan period?
- A: The one-week loan policy only applies to media materials
cataloged individually -- the Library receives many items which accompany
books, and these get the full book loan period. The one-week policy
for "standalone" items acknowledges that media are generally
used more briefly and are physically more vulnerable than books, but
the unlimited option to renew accommodates researchers who need to work
with an item for a longer period. We compared the policies of several
peer universities: none allowed more than five days, and often their
circulation policies excluded undergraduate students and sometimes even
graduate students. Many universities do not circulate their media materials
at all. Our one-week renewable loan period leads the way among our peer
- Q: Why not put all videotapes together, all CD-ROMs
- A: Universities which have a media center often shelve their
materials this way, but Yale doesn't have one and so other approaches
are necessary. In addition, university media centers face the same difficulty
we face: a large percentage of the media we receive accompanies a book.
We used to separate the media from the book (as do many university media
centers), but that approach causes many problems for the staff and facilities,
and it serves readers poorly. By shelving the materials along with books
in the stacks, we can solve or simplify many problems.
- Q: Why aren't circulation periods the same at all libraries?
- A: Libraries serve different readers and so sometimes they
have different needs. For the same reason, the Arts Library circulates
most of its materials for only one day. However, probably most libraries
will adopt the one week circulation period.
- Q: Are there any places in the library where people can
watch videos or work with CD-ROMs? How can people view foreign formats
like PAL, SECAM, or DVD Region 3?
- A: There are video and DVD players at CCL, SSL, the Divinity
Library, and elsewhere -- see the full equipment
list. Several video and DVD players can play all formats, and the
library's policy is that all new players should be able to play materials
from all over the world. There is one "open" computer at the
SML CD-ROM Reference Center that allows users to install programs if
they must use a CD-ROM in the building (e.g., it's a non-circulating
CD that accompanies a journal).
- Q: Can media be sent through Eli Express? What about Interlibrary
- A: All media can be transported through Eli Express, to any
library that is part of that system. The materials should never be in
the hard security shell when transported between libraries. Materials
traveling to or from LSF are put inside a special case that allows them
to cool or warm slowly, which protects the media format. Media items
are not currently permitted to be sent through ILL.
Send a Question
You can send questions about the media policies and procedures by using