Popular DVD collection

[updated 2018.6.21, 2018.8.22]

So for anybody who wants the real nitty-gritty manual, it’s here.

We cut the Audio-Visual budget this year (2018-2019), but split it differently. Half goes to streaming videos from Alexander Street, and the rest is being selected (suggestions invited) by one of the librarians (not me, but instead, the one who is much more heavily into film).

5000 fingers of Dr. T

DVD cover

Including an old favorite of mine (see the picture). Gotta love a Dr. Seuss-authored flick, right?

The above is also an example of one of many special cases.

Briefly, we put out the cover and case, and create an insert for another case with the actual disc(s), which is kept behind Circulation. Bring the cover case to the desk, we find the actual case to check out, and put the case on the shelf in its place to signify it is not available. I’m using a long-time favorite program for printing barcodes and inserts, Wasp Labeler (now version 7). [note: I have no compensation from the software company, but I’ve used their program for years and really recommend it]

tl;dr for the longer version:

If there is a digital version, we have to cover that information up. Borrowers don’t own the disc and therefore are not entitled to download it.

[updated versions using landscape printed version as of 2018.8.22]

If there is a DVD and a Blu-ray version, I have to have two circulating cases. The Blu-ray has a special format:


We have color-blind staff who need something not color-coded to make it obvious. The DVD version, of course, has none of the Blu-ray indicators.


The vertical line is the fold line, to wrap the insert around. The blank area to the right at the top is for a label with the barcode.

A spine label is put on the display container instead, to link it back to the location of the circulating case on the shelf.

Using landscape allows me to put some of the description (provided it is already in the record) on the case that goes home with patrons.

All the feature films are 791.4372, all the TV shows are 791.4572, and otherwise they are by regular Dewey call numbers.

Sounds fairly simple, until you get into it. I have a list of my labx insert and related Wasp Labeler formats (which may vary from this over time):

DVD cover formats

And this doesn’t cover everything. I still have to modify these as I go along, for things like number of discs.

DVDlburayvariable2discs is for Blu-rays with 2 discs in the container, for example.

DVDset_televisionSEASON is for the sets of TV show seasons.

The important thing is, the fewer things I have to change, the less likely it is that mistakes are made. I discovered that early on.

And for the 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T I had to use the DVDvariablecoverLASER to copy a regular cover to use for the display container, because it came with others in a boxed set of Stanley Kramer films. You should see the 14 titles (plus bonus disc!) which I had to make up for the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection (and no, we’re not going to lend 15 discs at once just because they came in a boxed set at a better price). For many of those, since the display container would not otherwise have a description of the movie, I’ve started to add one from the notes in the bib record.

Titles: some of these are not in English. Since not all of our staff (me included) have the various languages, I adjust the 245 field to what’s on the container. Therefore, Black girl was originally (in the record) as La noire de … . Consider trying to teach all our student workers how to understand (if not actually pronounce) titles in French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese… I did mention our selector is heavily into film, right? So, I cheat to make it easier on the people doing the retrieving from the stacks, not to mention the patrons.

And other stuff.

I use pink pages for DVD and blue for Blu-ray inserts. (It’s gray for some of us either way, but between that and the Blu-ray logos, it works out.) We use our regular label format to print barcodes/spine labels ( manual here ) which produces two barcodes and a spine label once we assign barcodes to item records.

I have the Cutter and date in a separate field from the Dewey part of the call number. That way, I only have to change that most of the time, as long as I have the proper insert format. Then I change the titles and whatever else, and the OCLC number. For TV seasons, I separate the Cutter and date, and just change the date, season number, and as needed, the OCLC number. I’ve adjusted the season numbers in the 245 title field so it reads digitally (“the complete 1st season”) with the alternate in a 246 field (“the complete first season”) so in the catalog, the display sorts more conveniently.

Necessity, as the saying goes, is a mother. But we are handling it and have developed a routine, which is what it’s all about for Tech Services.