Here is a partial list of the kinds of media formats that libraries could include:
Books Periodicals Videotapes Videodiscs (there are several different kinds)
Audiotapes Audio CD's Software (for several different operating systems)
CD-ROM databases On-line services E-books
The decision about which formats to include in the libraries collection can be some of the most difficult. New media formats seem to be created every month. Often these formats are not compatible with each other or they supercede an older format.
Libraries often wait to see whether a new format catches on with the public before adding materials in the format to their collection. If this is your policy, your collection development policy statement should give some criteria by which the you will define "catching on" with the public.
Another problem is how to decide when to stop supporting a format. Many libraries maintained and added to 16mm film collections long after video replaced this medium for most uses. Again, your policy should state how you will decide when to quit purchasing formats.
Your statement should also state whether the library will support a electronic format with equipment. For example, when a new format comes forth, will the library purchase the players so that those without this kind of equipment can still have access to the materials?
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