Monday, 25 April 2011


With the recent introduction of Netflix into Canada, some video stores have been reporting rental drops in certain categories, especially in the rental of television show DVDs.

Has your library experienced any drops in particular categories of DVDs?

Is your library offering movie downloads?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Movie Remakes

Russell Brand stars in the recently released remake of the 1970's classic comedy, Arthur.   There was alot of discussion among movie critics whether this remake was really necessary since it would be difficult to surpass Dudley Moore's performance in the original.

Movie remakes present a special challenge in VA.  In RA, there may be a takeoff on a particular book, but it is never rewritten.

Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' has had several film adaptations.  The 1995 BBC mini series starring my man Colin Firth is considered to be the definitive version.  However, a new highly regarded 2005 movie version starring Kiera Knightly was nominated for four Academy Awards.
It is important to be aware of remakes and the critical reviews.  Compare and contrast!

What remakes do you think are better or at least as good as the original?

Friday, 8 April 2011

Viewers' Advisory and Training Part 3

Having a familiar format reference tool like the Video Hound is one way to make VA work seem familiar to RA service providers.

Another way is to show staff the ways that VA and RA are similar.

When I was looking at developing what VA meant to me, I did a little test on myself.  I used my factors of appeal for reading and applied them to what I liked in movies.  I was pleasantly surprised to realize that the same factors of appeal came into play for both books and movies.

So, you can again create a familiar atmosphere for staff to let them know that many of the same factors of appeal can be used for both RA and VA.

Certainly, there are some differences, but those can identified after becoming comfortable with the similarities.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Viewers' Advisory and Staff Training Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, training is key to good VA service.

If you have staff who do not watch television and movies, how do you given them the tools to do VA?

Despite the move to online resources, I refer staff as a first step to what I call the 'bible' of VA - Video Hound.  With the comprehensive synopsis of movies and indexes to actors, directors and movies by theme, this reference book is easy to use and similar to RA resources.  For example, if a patron asks about a movie that stars Paul Newman and can't remember the exact name, a review of the actor's movies under his name often will identify the right movie.

I also find that Video Hound is a good resource during those party debates on actors and movies!