Guidelines for Audiovisual and Multimedia Materials in Libraries and other Institutions (2003 version – Retired)

by Bruce Royan and Monika Cremer

Series: IFLA Professional Reports 80

The Guidelines are currently under revision.  Please see the AVMS Publications webpage for access.

This set of guidelines, for audiovisual and multimedia materials in libraries of all kinds and other appropriate institutions, is the product of many years of consultation and collaborative effort.

As early as 1972, The UNESCO Public Library Manifesto had stressed the need for audiovisual media in public libraries, both in adult and in children’s services. The following year, a Round Table on Audiovisual Material was created within IFLA to cover all "non-book materials", or – according to another definition – all documents requiring equipment for their consultation.

In 1982, this Round Table was asked to consider standards for the provision of audiovisual materials and equipment in public libraries, and the first edition of the IFLA Guidelines was born. A second, revised, edition was planned for 1987, but this was never published.

The success of major new services in libraries, such as multimedia documents (CD-I and CD-ROM) and multimedia on-line services, represent an evolution of audiovisual documents since they deliver several different audiovisual media, electronically organized. The Round Table therefore changed its name in 1996 to the Round Table on Audiovisual and Multimedia. In 1999 the Round Table on AVM was transformed into the Audiovisual and Multimedia Section.

Indeed the technical revolution in libraries pointed to a need not only for an organizational name change but also for revision of the IFLA Guidelines. In 1997 the RT on AVM proposed a small project to revise the old texts and complementary material into a set of Guidelines for Audiovisual and Multimedia Services in Public Libraries. The one-year project concluded that creating new guidelines was a too heavy task for one person, Bibbi Andersson (Sweden) ; but set out a framework for future work. In 1999 the Coordinating Board of IFLA Division VI sanctioned a further project, assigned to a team of members (Monika Cremer (Germany), Pierre-Yves Duchemin (France), Joelle Garcia (France), Marty Kesselmann (USA)) of the new AVM Section, to prepare a set of guidelines for Audiovisual and Multimedia in all kinds of libraries and other institutions.

The scope of the project had been extended beyond Public Libraries in recognition that Information and Communications Technologies were breaking down traditional distinctions between Public, Academic, National and Special libraries as far as media handling and access were concerned. The team’s work was nevertheless influenced by discussion at IFLA 2000 of the draft revised IFLA Guidelines for Public Libraries, some parts which relate to audiovisual and multimedia materials: "to bridge the gap between the information rich and the information poor it has also to provide access to the necessary equipment, e.g. information technology, microform readers, tape recorders, slide projectors and equipment for the visually handicapped."

The first draft of the present Guidelines was presented at a Workshop in 2001 at the IFLA Conference in Boston, and the team received a number of suggested improvements as a result. A second planned working meeting had to be postponed from the crowded program of IFLA 2002 Glasgow, and so the draft was published online on IFLANET, as well as being widely circulated to IFLA and other professional contacts for comment.

In July 2003, a second draft of the Guidelines, taking into account all comments received to date, was published in the AVMS Newsletter. The current version, based on that draft, was finalized by the rapporteurs (Bruce Royan (UK), Monika Cremer (Germany), Livia Borghetti (Italy), Kirsten Rydland (Norway), James Turner (Canada), Gregory Miura (France) of a workshop held in Berlin on 7 August as part of the IFLA 2003 Conference.

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Guidelines, Audiovisual and Multimedia, Audiovisual and Multimedia Materials, Storage and Handling

Last update: 17 May 2018