An interesting discussion started today on the newlib list about collection development of entertainment materials.  In a CD twist I’ve never heard of before, a misguided library director has decided to acquire only videos and DVDs rated 4 stars by Leonard Maltin.  There are various major and minor problems with this logic: 

 1) Leonard Maltin??!!!! I would sooner listen to a review by Dwight Schrute.

2) Effective CD policies take into account popular opinion.  Even though a movie such as American Pie may be a critical crapheap, there’s no denying that’s what the majority of the viewing public wants to watch.  And we do still live in a democracy, even in libraryland.

3) Don’t the local librarians have some say? Isn’t informed, critical selection of materials one of the reasons we’re required to have a master’s degree? Was that collection development class just a COMPLETE waste of time?

4) No reviewer has the chance to watch the majority of important/interesting/entertaining films that come out every year.  That’s a whole heck of a lot of material that’s being ignored entirely.

5) Seriously, do we want to move towards a society where Leonard Maltin shapes our cultural standards?