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University Libraries

Charles B. Sears Law Library University at Buffalo School of Law

Audio-Visual and Microform Collections Policy

A. Audiovisual or Media Materials


Audiovisual materials are those which contain information of an auditory and/or visual nature, excluding replications of a printed page (e.g., microforms). Included in the Koren Center are: audiocassettes, NTSC VHS and U-format videocassettes, and slide/tape programs. Hybrid technologies (or media) combine audiovisual analog with digital text information on optical laserdisc and accompanying computer software. Also included are CD-ROM programs on compact optical discs that the software industry defines as "multimedia". These CD-ROMs digitally store audiovisual and text information and playback through a microcomputer with multimedia capabilities.

Audiovisual Selection

The Audiovisual Librarian reviews all requests and considers the following:

  • Equipment compatibility
  • Appropriateness of the format
  • Audiocassette versions are preferred if video productions of "talking heads" contain no demonstrative value.
  • Video productions with visual impact and demonstrative value include but are not limited to: documentaries and demonstrations of trial technique, appellate advocacy, arbitration, negotiation, mediation, client interviews.
  • Duplication
    • Materials owned by the Instructional Technology Services (ITS) (24 Capen Hall) may be duplicated if extenuating circumstances warrant Law Library ownership.
    • Materials jointly purchased with ITS are are housed at ITS in 24 Capen Hall and accessed according to their procedures.
    • Titles owned by other University Libraries are generally not duplicated.
  • Titles over $75.00 should be previewed by a faculty member or the AV Librarian. Where a preview is not available the AV Librarian may consult with the Director or other law librarians.
  • Non-serial titles under $75.00 need not be reviewed by the collection development committee.
  • Printed materials that accompany AV materials should be retained, including seminar schedules, posters, flyers, catalog descriptions, publishers blurbs, as well as any manuals or indexing tools.
  • Lost or damaged materials will be replaced on an individual basis after review by the AV Librarian according to the selection procedures and criteria.
Selection Criteria: Substance
  • Law faculty requests are given special consideration.
  • Materials basic to the Law School curriculum are purchased, including documentary, special interest programs or feature length motion pictures (in VHS video format).
  • Research level media works, works or talks by prominent individuals in a profession, and certain practice oriented materials are preferred.
  • Audio or video law school study aids, such as:
    • Gilbert's Law Summaries: Harcourt, Brace and Professional Publications, Inc.
    • Sum and Substance: West Professional Training Programs
  • Practitioners' materials and continuing legal education materials are purchased selectively for federal and New York jurisdictions according to need, quality, and format. Included are publications by the NYS Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the ABA, and the National Institute of Trial Attorneys.
  • Audiocassettes of AALL and AALS meetings are purchased selectively.
  • In-house productions that meet the above criteria are added to the permanent collection.
    • All guest lectures in the Law School should be taped. The AV Librarian should contact the sponsoring faculty or Law School organization to request permission to tape and collect copies of posters, newspaper articles, and other relevant materials that will accompany the recording.
    • Events which constitutea relevant archival record include: the annual Mitchell Lecture, conferences sponsored or co-sponsored by the Law School, Baldy Short Courses, Annual Desmond Moot Court Competition and Mugel (Tax) Moot Court Competitions finals, Law School graduation ceremonies, Annual Law Revue, and other events that document the history of the Law School.
Selection Criteria: Format All selected audiovisual/computer materials must be compatible with equipment available in the Koren Center.

Equipment currently available in the Koren Center includes the following:

  • audiocassette (1/8")
  • 35 mm slide/tape
  • NTSC 1/2" VHS videocassette
  • NTSC 3/4" U-Matic videocassette
  • 16mm film
  • 12 inch optical laserdisc CAV or CLV mode
  • 1.44 meg. 3 1/2 inch magnetic optical disc.

High-end Intel Pentium or 486 DX2 or higher will only accommodate high density 3 1/2 inch discs.

NTSC 1/2 inch VHS videocassette is the preferred video format. If a program is only available in 16mm film or U-Matic videocassette then those formats may be rented or purchased.

Hybrid technologies -such as interactive video programs- must be compatible with NTSC analog laserdisc players and IBM/Intel "PC" microcomputer technology or platform. Such products include 12 inch CAV optical disc for interactive video and CD-I programs.

Multimedia interactive video programs on CD-ROM must be compatible with IBM/Intel technology and with the supported operating system for the libraries at that time: Windows 3.1. Windows NT, or possibly 9X. The software must also contain all necessary drivers to run on standard IBM/Intel multimedia computer equipment. The AV Librarian should be notified if the software requires any special boards or equipment.

B. Microforms or Micrographics


Microforms or micrographics are a condensed version of print on film. The Law Library collects microform materials for several reasons:

  • Unavailability of the material in any other format: rare, archival or unique materials are often reproduced and distribution only in the microform.
  • Microform reproductions store the information in a more durable format than than paper.
  • New generations can be reproduced from the microform masters.
  • Renders binding of paper copy unnecessary.
  • Microforms take up much less space than the equivalent information in paper.
Microform Selection

Selection of microform titles is made by the librarians as a collection development decision based on the Selection Criteria. The Koren Center houses and maintains the microform collection and the reading/printing equipment. The AV Librarian reviews all requests for compatibility of format and storage.

Selection Criteria: Format

All selected microforms materials must be compatible with equipment available in the Audiovisual Department or other locations in the Law Library. Microform formats currently in the collection include microfiche, microfilm (16mm and 35 mm) and opaque microcard (now obsolete).

Format: microfiche or microfilm
  • Polarity: Negative is preferred
  • Film type: diazo - black or blue
  • Magnification: between 9x to 27x
  • Capacity: Sufficient microform cabinets must be available
  • Quality - Physical: Good contrast and a clear sharp image
  • Quality - Content: Completeness of information, indexing tools, and reliable & consistent publisher

C. Computer Files

The Koren Center has a number of text based resources available in Windows/DOS software. Such materials are supplemental or appendages to existing print material selected by the Law Librarians as a group. When selecting print titles that incorporate software the AV Librarian needs to be notified in order to determine if the necessary equipment is available to access information from this format.

D. Print Resources and Selection Tools

The Audiovisual Librarian consults many films and video reference sources including an up-to-date vertical catalog file of media producers and distributors programming. An attempt is also made to collect basic sources as well as those specializedin the areas of social science, human rights, and the law. The Department collects and maintains a collection of basic media reference sources that are used to identify productions, producers and equipment manufactures. The Department will also collect technical AV and computer technical manuals and guides for staff use.