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SML/CCL Procedures for Media
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Item Types & Statistical Categories Containers & Supplies Equipment Service Policy
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Media Policies and Processes for SML Selectors

(Revised 29 Sep 2006)


The media policy aims to mainstream the ordering, processing, and availability of media such as videotapes, DVDs, CD-ROMs, sound CDs, sound cassettes, and floppy disks. In general, then, selectors acquire materials in all formats, and the decisions and methods that selectors use for books apply to media materials as well.


  1. Fund usage: Use the same allocated funds that you use for purchasing books through firm orders and approval plans, and in the same manner. You may also use purchase cards, following the approved guidelines.

  2. Videotapes and DVDs: Equipment for viewing all international formats is available at CCL. The Cataloging Dept. also has such equipment.

  3. CD-ROMs: Before ordering, confirm with the vendor that the software will work on the Library's approved computer operating system, and inquire about the return policy in case the software proves not to work on our equipment.

  4. Sound cassettes and sound CDs: Like videos and CDs, there are cases for shelving sound recordings in the SML/CCL stacks. They should not go to the Music Library except by agreement.

  5. Large sets: Before ordering a large set, confirm that the Library has or can order sufficient media cases. If you intend the set to go to the SML/CCL stacks (rather than LSF), the Library must also have enough security shells, and you must consult with Access Services about space requirements. In general, orders for media supplies should be made in the same cycle as the biannual equipment requests. Give the order support staff at least two months' notice for ordering supplies, particularly the shells. See the Containers & Supplies page for further information.

  6. Information needed by order support staff: Provide as much information as you can, such as physical format (such as VHS or DVD), encoding format (such as PAL or Region 1), computer operating system compatibility, and whether the item is intended for Reference. This is especially important for materials coming from foreign countries.

  7. Approval and blanket order plans: You may wish to review these plans to allow you to automatically receive titles with accompanying media or stand-alone media.

  8. Equipment and obsolescence: Here are the main points from the Library's policy on supported equipment:

  9. The Library will make its best efforts to provide equipment for using all media formats that specific libraries have acquired during the most recent five years, at a minimum....

    Formats supported by Library equipment may include U.S. and foreign videotapes (NTSC, PAL, and SECAM), DVDs (Regions 1-6), sound CDs, sound cassettes, and CD-ROMs.....

    As long as reasonable, the Library will attempt to maintain and support media technologies that are currently no longer widely used or are obsolete. When possible, the Library will refer users to university locations that still support technologies that are no longer available at the Library.

Review Plaza and Public Service

  1. Arrival: Receiving staff will put all media materials in approved cases upon arrival. However, gifts will not be in cases when they arrive on your shelf, since the decision to keep them has to happen first.

  2. Enclosures and inserts: After receipt, staff will send selectors all materials accompanying a media item. Some of this material has information that catalogers need but may discard afterwards. Some are brochures, ads or catalogs, which selectors may discard or leave with the media item. If for any reason (such as artifactual value) the selector wishes to keep the accompanying material with the media item, he/she must attach a note to that effect for Cataloging, Preparations and Collection Care.

    However, serials support staff must follow more general policies so that selectors do not need to intervene for every issue of the periodical. The overall "rule of thumb" for media inserts approved by the Collection Development Council and the Library Management Council is (quoting the CDC Media Task Force's final report):

  3. Media items with content that can be used without additional payment (e.g., articles, data, music, "freeware," etc) shall be kept, even if the item also has a commercial or advertising purpose. Items with a primarily commercial or advertising purpose which cannot be used without payment or lose their value after a set period without payment (e.g., "1000 free hours of AOL") shall be discarded. Any item not clearly fitting these categories shall be referred to the appropriate selector for decision. Selectors may overrule these general guidelines as needed.

    Media accompanying journals and magazines will be immediately shelved in the stacks, and the paper portion that goes to the Periodical Reading Room will have a sticker affixed indicating there is also accompanying media.

  4. Special packaging and unusual contents: Some items have special packaging that might be of interest in itself, or include unusual materials such as viewers, playing cards, swatches of cloth, etc. In these cases, receiving staff will attach a decision flag so that the selector can decide whether to keep and shelve the packaging or other materials. If you decide to keep an item like this, check the appropriate box on the flag and put the item on the proper shelf, to be forwarded to Collection Care. In some cases, the best shelving location may be LSF or LSF-R.

  5. Shelving locations: All of the shelving locations that are available for books (SML, CCL, LSF, LSF-R, Reference, etc.) are also available for media, and should be used in the same manner for the same reasons.

    • All materials shelved at LSF have the same circulation policies, regardless of format. Hence stand-alone media will have the same loan periods as books.
    • Restricted SML media items, like restricted SML books, will be made available for patron use at the Manuscripts & Archives Reading Room through the regular request procedures.

  6. Cataloging priorities: Selectors may assign media materials the same cataloging priorities that are available for books (High Visibility Title [HVT], Frontlog, etc.). The items should then be placed on the appropriate shelf or truck for transfer to Cataloging. Frontlog media will be in the same frontlog as books.

  7. Titles with multiple pieces:

  8. Situation Action
    Combination of formats (e.g., a book + CD-ROM) packaged as a single item Treat as a monographic title which can go to the frontlog, even if it has many media parts
    Solely media (e.g., a set of DVDs) Treat as a Multipart Monograph (MPM), which goes to Priority.

  9. Circulation policies: The standard circulation policies for media are as follows:

    • Media items that do not accompany a book: one week, at both SML and CCL, and for all users.
    • Media items accompanying books: the same policies as apply to the book (which vary by library and patron type).

    These circulation policies are initially applied when the material is received, according to the following policies:

    Situation Action
    Combination of formats (e.g., a book + CD-ROM), including media with a user guide

    Apply the item type circ, which gives the standard loan periods for books

    NOTE: If you determine that the print matter is a user guide that accompanies the media item (rather than vice versa), you can place a grey "Media -- One Week Loan" flag in the book in order to change the loan period.

    Solely media (e.g., a single CD-ROM or set of CD-ROMs), without any print accompaniment

    Apply the item type media, which gives the title a one-week loan period

  10. Separate records and circulation policies: In some situations, catalogers must put items on separate bibliographic records in accordance with cataloging rules. On a case-by-case basis, selectors may request such separation in order to improve identification and access to an item. An example is when the media item (e.g., a videotape) is likely to be of interest in its own right, or even has its own title. Your request should be attached to the item so that the cataloger can apply the changed policy. In such situations, the circulation period for the media item will be one week.
  11. Support services: The following is the Library's support policy for media:

    Yale libraries owning media items and equipment will make reasonable efforts to ensure that their playback and computer equipment is in working condition.

    • Libraries with video recordings in non-U.S. formats will provide equipment for viewing these materials.
    • Libraries will also seek to maintain the usability of reference CD-ROMs/DVD-ROMs that must be used within the library.
    • The Library cannot guarantee that all software and databases will function on its computers or other computers that may be available to researchers.

    Yale libraries do not assist patrons with installing or using media items which circulate outside the library.

    • The Library cannot guarantee that any circulating item will operate properly on equipment outside the Library’s control. Assistance may be available from ITS.
    • By borrowing items from the Yale University Library, users agree that the Library assumes no liability for damage to personal equipment or for the loss of personal data caused by using media items.

Revised by Tobin Nellhaus

Selection Acquisition  Cataloging  Preparation Access Services  LSF
Item Types & Statistical Categories Containers & Supplies Equipment Service Policy
 FAQs & Contacts

Selectors List / Acquisitions Support Group (ASG) / Cataloging Coordinating Council (CCC) / Collection Development Council (CDC) / Circulation Support Group (CSG) / Staff Front Door / Yale University Library
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