Film collection development: a methodological approaches

Mirko Duić


Significant number of libraries have built large film collections. This poster will present some methodological approaches to the appraisal of library film collections. Presentation will be focused on two approaches.

First methodological approach is the appraisal of the library film collection diversity. This approach is based on the methodology for appraising cultural diversity whose origins we can find in UNESCO efforts of promoting and preserving cultural diversity. This “UNESCO methodology” was used in studies of various cultural fields  (radio, TV, movie theater exhibition...) but it was never used for appraising cultural diversity of library film collections. Presentation will draw attention to the possibility and need of using UNESCO methodology in appraising library film collections. Important reason for use of this methodology is that most important part of the libraries mission, acknowledged in their statutes, is to offer diverse cultural works to the users. But if we look for example at the library film collections in Croatia we will notice disbalance in favour of the recent Hollywood films. It is highly possible that the diversity of film collections is much lower than diversity of library book collections. If libraries want to satisfy various (potential) users needs and interests they need to build collection diversity for each type of the media that they collect. For that reason UNESCO methodology can be valuable to appraise diversity of their collections. Using this methodology we can appraise various facets of collection diversity for example diversity according to these facets: country of film origin, time of creation, technical aspect (color or black and white film...), film genus and type. Representation of various film genera in film collections can be appraised by looking how many films of these types is in the collection: fiction film, documentary film, education and propaganda filma, animation film etc.

Second methodological approach that will be presented is the appraisal of  library film collections by comparing  library film collection with film canons or lists of the important films. In this work we will present canon definitions and types, their relevance for appraising library film collections and we will give example of study in which this methodological approach was used. Methodology of  “canonical comparison” enable appraisal of library film collection with regard to value or importance of films that are in the collection. However, because of the subjective aspect of value perception, attention will be drawn to the possibility and need of using various, sometimes mutually opposed canons, to appraise library film collection.



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