Media Collection Description - Collections


The collection is maintained by the Undergraduate Library, but selection responsibility is distributed among the Non-Print Subcommittee of the Collection Development Committee, Unit for Cinema Studies, Departmental Librarians, and the Undergraduate Library Media Coordinator.The Media Center collection is located in the Undergraduate Library.

The Media Center serves as the audiovisual center for the University Library, supports a reserve collection of items requested or deposited by teaching faculty, collects materials which support and enhance instruction, and offers research materials in mediated formats. Designed to incorporate all microforms and non-print material previously held in the Undergraduate Library, including the equipment, programs and services of the Audio Center, the Media Center was officially opened in October of 1978. The collection consists of 63,326 items.

Version Date: April, 2005


I. Collection Description


The purpose of the Media Center collection is three-fold: 1) to support the University’s curriculum by providing appropriate non-print instructional materials to be viewed in the Media Center, as well as to be used by teaching faculty in the classroom; 2) to make available materials which are only available, or are most useful, in non-print formats (e.g., motion pictures, theatrical productions, lecture tapes, etc.); and 3) to maintain and provide access to microform holdings in the Undergraduate Library and to those microforms approved for purchase from non-print funds and held in the Media Center.

  1. The Media Center:
  2. serves as the audiovisual center for the University Library
  3. supports a reserve collection of items requested or deposited by teaching faculty
  4. collects materials which support and enhance instruction
  5. provides textual and non-textual materials in micro-formats
  6. offers research materials in mediated formats.

The Media Center does not handle 16 mm films. The University of Illinois Film Center, which is administratively separate from the Library and functions on a cost-recovery fee-for-service basis, has extensive holdings in this format.

History of Collection:

Planning began in 1976-77 for a Media Center which would support instruction both directly, through class related assignments for the use of non-print material, and indirectly, through the provision of individually retrievable non-print material and ready access to equipment. Designed to incorporate all microforms and non-print material previously held in the Undergraduate Library, including the equipment, programs and services of the Audio Center, the Media Center was officially opened in October of 1978.

During the fiscal year 1978, $22,000 of non-recurring money was spent by the Undergraduate Library on non-print acquisitions. The initial purchases were concentrated in the social sciences and humanities and included theatrical productions, motion pictures, readings of non-fiction, in addition to a large collection of critical lectures on literature.

In 1980, the Acquisitions Policy Committee appointed a subcommittee for non-print acquisitions, with representatives from each council within the Library. The Non-print Subcommittee conducted three rounds of competition each year, allocating a fund of approximately $20,000.

In 1984, the Collection Development Committee approved a change in the procedure for non-print requests which would enable each fund manager to request from $100 to $500 during each of the three periods during which funds are expended each year, without requiring committee review. Such requests are granted routinely and orders for material placed automatically.

Estimate of Holdings:

63,326 items in the following categories: microfilms, 3,824; microfiche, 36,177; audio cassettes, 2,694; video cassettes, 860; filmstrips, 318; slides, 13,117; videodiscs, 154; and phonodiscs, 6,182.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The Media Center collection is designed as a non-circulating collection, so its primary significance is to the on-campus student and faculty population.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Collection development and selection of materials is the responsibility of numerous bodies and individuals. Teaching faculty participate actively in collection development for the Media Center through purchase recommendations to the Non-print Subcommittee.

Non-Print Subcommittee of the Collection Development Committee – This subcommittee is responsible for allocating the non-print pool fund. During each of three rounds of competition annually, teaching faculty apply to the subcommittee through Library fund managers for non-print materials costing more than $100.

Unit for Cinema Studies – This Unit has a separate allocation for acquisition of non-print materials for the Media Center administered by the English Library. Selection is done by teaching faculty in the Unit in cooperation with the Cinema Studies bibliographer.

Departmental Librarians – Any librarian may select materials for the Media Center and purchase them using individual funds. In most cases, these acquisitions are for items costing less than $100.

Media Coordinator – The Media Coordinator in the Undergraduate Library oversees the selection and acquisition processes outlined above, including placing orders on the non-print pool fund, claiming for non-receipt, and coordinating the three rounds of non-print competition annually.

Location of Materials:

All materials purchased on non-print funds are located in the Media Center in the Undergraduate Library. Occasionally, microforms purchased with these monies are housed in the departmental libraries which can accommodate the format.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Videorecording in the Media Center in the Undergraduate Library: A Holdings List. Prepared by Luella Carter and edited by Charles Forrest, September, 1984- (updated annually).

II. General Collection Guidelines


All languages, though English language material predominates. The collection includes many feature films and some other items in foreign languages, most subtitled in English.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Treatment of Subject:

The level of treatment ranges from general instructional to research. The Media Center is a format-specific collection in two broad categories: media materials and microforms. The media collection contains feature films, television broadcasts, documentaries, theatrical productions, musical performances, teaching modules, lecture tapes and the like. The microform collection consists of two parts: news resources, such as the New York Times and Newsbank, and microform editions of many titles in the periodical collection in the Undergraduate Library.

Types of Materials:

Appropriate materials collected in any format the Media Center can accommodate. Acquired formats include: 1/2″ Betamax videocassette, 1/2″ VHS videocassette, 3/4″ Umatic videocassette, Laseroptical videodisc (CAV/CLV), Slides w/wo audiocassette, Filmstrip w/wo audiocassette, Audiocassette, Kit (multi-format packages), and Microforms (fiche or film). The Media Center also has a handful of items in overseas video standards (PAL and SECAM).

Date of Publication:

No restrictions, but current imprints predominate.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions, though format and standards compatibility considerations lead to a predominance of U.S. publications.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

Media Collection
Media materials 2 Non-print Etc.
Microforms 2 Undergraduate


Version Date: November 2005