In the past week I've spent about $8,000 on videos requested by faculty. As I've said before, these instructors have their own interests, not those of library patrons, in mind when making these requests; they use videos as a way of taking a break during class and entertaining the students. One of them, after dropping off $2,500 worth of video requests, actually had the chutzpah to ask, "Do you have to catalog these when they arrive, or can I just take them and keep them in my office?" Does this sort of thing happen at respectable universities?
If I ever saw an ad for a public library collection development job, I would be tempted to apply, especially if it was in a good location. It would be interesting to deal with a wide variety of content and format (I would have a lot of fun selecting movies, for instance, or science fiction novels). There wouldn't be any faculty who are given carte blanche to blow thousands of dollars on a whim. And it would be nice to see people use the materials one spent so much effort in selecting. (From our consortium-wide circulation system I can tell that even serious, scholarly materials get a lot more check-outs at many public libraries than they do here. Our copy of McCulloch's book on the Reformation, for instance, has been checked out twice, but the one at Amarillo P.L. has been checked out twenty one times.) Pablo and I dropped by a branch of the Fort Worth P.L. and I was gratified to see the bustle (although the presence of a rent-a-cop was sobering).