News Home RSS Feed

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CVS Midwest Tape Now Offers Columbia Classics on DVD and Blu-ray

In an effort to show continued dedication to film preservation, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has launched Columbia Classics. This collection not only includes digitally restored films, but also hundreds of classics, restored to the highest quality and available for the first time on DVD and Blu-ray through Columbia Classics’ Screen Classics by Request (DVD on-demand) program. Through our partnership with Sony Pictures, we are proud to announce that we now offer this collection, which debuted with 100 titles this past fall and adds more titles every month.

According to, this program is very similar to the Warner Archive Collection (also available from CVS Midwest Tape): “Like WB's program, Screen Classics by Request is a heady mix of cult favourites (Crash Landing, The 27th Day, The Interns), forgotten epics (Genghis Khan), Columbia series films (four ‘Jungle Jim’ adventures starring Johnny Weissmuller), intriguing but largely forgotten gems (Mickey One, 10 Rillington Place), foreign films (Les voleurs, a.k.a. Thieves), good-to-indifferent TV movies (The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, To Sir with Love II, Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is), and bizarre, one-of-a-kind oddities (Birds Do It).”

What is DVD on-demand?
DVD on-demand is the most cost-effective way to bring DVDs and Blu-rays to market—only when consumers or libraries want them. Columbia Classics’ Screen Classics by Request titles are individually ‘burned’ based on orders, rather than churned out in bulk amounts and disseminated to retailers and media distributors.

On-demand DVDs are manufactured using the most widely accepted [DVD] format, DVD-R. DVD-Rs are developed through duplication (disc burning) with cost-effective retail DVDs, whereas titles produced en masse are developed through a more costly replication process.

How can I find this collection on CVS Midwest Tape’s website?
There are several ways you can access CVS Midwest Tape’s Columbia Classics collection on our website:
  • Select “Columbia Classics” while browsing DVD collections via Browse.
  • Search via SmartBrowse stock number prefix “CBO” or collection name “Columbia Classics” to access all available Columbia Classics titles.
  • Select the “Columbia Classics” collection displayed on the CVS Midwest Tape homepage.
Click image above to access collection.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

NPR Joins CVS Midwest Tapes’ Standing Order Plans

This past November we introduced our First Listen Today online collection, which allows users to browse albums that are streaming daily on National Public Radio’s website. Due to the popularity of that feature and the high regard held for NPR’s music recommendations, we’ve taken that collection a step further. CVS Midwest Tape now offers the Featured on NPR Customised Standing Order Plan, featuring music highlighted and recommend on NPR.

With a variety of programs aimed at fans of various genres, NPR has long had a reputation for being on the cutting edge of new music. The First Listen feature gives music fans the unique opportunity to listen to albums in their entirety before they are officially released, and their New Song of the Day feature exposes music fans to a new song daily. This week, NPR is showcasing songs from artists playing at the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival.

In addition to these NPR Music staples, the Featured on NPR plan will include music titles highlighted in NPR reviews and their All Songs Considered feature. Examples of showcased music on NPR include such albums as “Big Roar” by The Joy Formidable, “All Eternals Deck” by The Mountain Goats, and The Ebene Quartet’s “Fiction.”

The Featured on NPR plan will consist of up to ten titles per month, and customers who sign up for this plan will receive carts every four weeks starting on April 6th. Like all our standing order plans, you can set your cart quantity at any amount and adjust titles and quantities any time.

Interested in signing up for the Featured on NPR or any of our music standing order plans? Contact Chris Shope at 866.698.2231 or

What do you think of this new plan? Is there another standing order plan you’d love to see? Share your thoughts here as comments.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hit Makers: How to Join the List and How to Fall Off

CVS Midwest Tape boasts over 25 music standing order plans. Our most popular plan is the Hit Makers plan, which consists of upcoming albums expected to become major hits by popular artists. But how do we predict this? How do artists become Hit Makers? And how do they get the boot?

Welcome to the Hit Makers Club
The Hit Makers plan consists of upcoming releases from artists who have a previous album that has been certified Gold, Platinum, or Multiplatinum in the past five years by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Artists receive Gold certification after 500,000 record sales, Platinum after one million, and multiplatinum after two million. These honours are based on U.S.—not worldwide—sales, and an artist has to achieve certification within three years of his or her album’s release. Thus, any albums released before March 2008 that just reached Gold status would not be included in our Hit Makers plan because the album is now more than three years old.

Below are some examples of current Hit Makers:
  • Gold: Snoop Dogg, OneRepublic, Radiohead
  • Platinum: Bob Seger, Paramore, Usher
  • Multiplatinum: Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift
Off the List!
Once an artist joins the Hit Makers Club, he or she isn’t guaranteed a space forever. If an artist fails to produce another certified album within five years of their previous certified release, then that artist will get the boot from the Hit Makers plan.

Below are some examples of once certified artists no longer Hit Makers:
  • The Pussycat Dolls—Platinum until 01/26/2011
  • Diana Krall—Gold until 02/26/2011
  • Bo Bice—Gold until 02/02/2011
Insider’s Pass to the Club
Interested in turning your library into a Hit Makers Club? Sign up for our Hit Makers standing order plan, and every two weeks you’ll receive a cart loaded with upcoming releases from certified Hit Makers.

You can decide whether you want to receive albums from all Gold, Platinum, and Multiplatinum artists, just Platinum and Multiplatinum, or only Multiplatinum. Additionally, you can set your cart quantity at any amount and adjust titles and quantities any time. In summary, the plan (like all of our standing order plans) is super flexible and there’s absolutely no obligation to order.

To learn more about or sign up for our Hit Makers plan, contact Chris Shope at 866.698.2231 or You can also view our Music CD Customized Standing Order brochure and our Hit Makers list.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Print Books vs. Digital Books

Written by Kristen Zenz

After months of hype, the excitement surrounding eBooks may be dying down. Even though eBook sales jumped 112% in October from a year prior, they posted their slowest growth rates yet.1 These slowing sales leave me wondering if consumers are starting to see through all the publicity surrounding digital books. After scouring through numerous blogs and news articles, I’ve found that no format—print or digital—is perfect, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of both print and digital books? Check out this list of key points you should take into consideration when selecting titles from the two formats for your library.

Availability and Accessibility
Libraries can incorporate new digital material into their collections anytime if purchased through an online digital material vendor. Through these providers, libraries can add eBooks right to their catalogue website. Printed materials, on the other hand, while still purchased online, are at the mercy of shipment and delivery.

Unlike books, digital materials never go “out of print.” However, the idea that eBooks remain available indefinitely is a common misconception. Without warning, Amazon has remotely deleted titles like Animal Farm and 1984 from Kindles because the publisher did not have the proper rights. And HarperCollins recently set a license limit of 26 checkouts per title for libraries. After the library reaches the checkout limit, the title essentially expires.2

On the other hand, once you buy a printed book, it can never be revoked. Up until April 2011, rights holders who have eBooks on Google have the ability to pull their books as though the eBook never existed.3 Additionally, Barnes & Noble has been known to delete titles from Nooks if users don’t continually update their software.4 There are still other publishers that do not allow for the circulation of eBooks in libraries at all.2

Whether you prefer print or digital there will always be titles that are not available. It is cheaper and easier for authors to self-publish eBooks, so some have started publishing their work only in this format. However, there are also print books that have not yet been converted to digital, and there’s a chance they may never be.

Initially, eBooks may be cheaper than printed books because there are no printing costs—some public domain eBooks are even free—but eBooks are not always priced lower than their physical counterparts. On, the price for Ken Follett’s eBook Fall of Giants was $19.99, while the hardcover edition was $18. Additionally, the eBook for Don’t Blink by James Patterson and Howard Roughan was priced at $14.99. Amazon priced the hardcover at $14—although the price of the hardcover has since gone up to $16.15.5

To access an eBook, you need an eReader which can cost anywhere from $99 to over $500. Some libraries preload these devices with eBooks and then loan the device. The cost can add up, though, if your library is buying multiple devices. They also may use Overdrive, a downloadable audiobook program for purchase by public libraries, to distribute eBooks. This service requires a single annual participation fee ranging from $600 to $6,000 based on the population of the library’s service area. Additionally, libraries pay per eBook title, which varies in price. These titles are encrypted with DRM and are therefore only usable on specific devices. Patrons are limited to a certain number of copies of the material, and after the 14-day loan period, the files disappear from the device, requiring a new checkout rather than a renewal.

Portability and Storage
eReaders are capable of storing thousands of eBooks on a tablet smaller than a piece of paper. Therefore, libraries can preload readers with whole series or read-alike books. They can also house entire collections on hard drives, thus saving shelf space and allowing room for other resources like audiovisual materials, Internet-accessible computers, Wi-Fi access points, and reference desk materials. However, digital books lack the aesthetic appeal of stacked books and the refreshing smell and feel of cracking open a physical book. Additionally, browsing via an online catalogue doesn’t necessarily have the same appeal as wandering the shelves and stacks.

Although eBooks aren’t susceptible to the traditional wear and tear of printed books, eReaders can still be dropped, be exposed to extreme temperatures, or experience data corruption. Additionally, DRM makes it difficult to back up eBook files for future retrieval.

Upgrade and Update
eBooks make it possible to update or correct a single file instead of reprinting thousands of copies of printed books. For example, 80,000 print copies of Jonathan Franzen’s book Freedom were recalled because an unedited version was sent to the printers. All of the print versions needed to be reprinted, while only one copy of the digital version needed updated.6

However, eBook file formats will constantly change due to advances in technology and proprietary formats. While PDF and EPUB are standard formats now, this could easily change over time, risking the readability of certain works that may not be compatible with future formats. While eBooks may need to be copied or converted in the future, printed books will always remain readable.

Environmental Concerns
Printed books use three times more raw materials and 78 times more water to produce than eBooks.7 However, eReaders are not biodegradable like printed books and the incorrect disposal of batteries can wreak havoc on the environment.

Basic functions of digital readers make it easy to alter text and read in low or no light. They have the ability to display motion, change the size and style of fonts, use text-to-speech software, and search for key terms and definitions. Digital books also allow the user to highlight, bookmark, and annotate text. If a book has specific formatting, though, it may be lost when converted to a digital file. Of course, without a charged battery, none of these functions are accessible. However, in spite of recent technological advances, it is just as easy to annotate printed texts without eReaders, as long as you don’t mind marking up your books or making copies. In fact, according to the New York Times, students still cling to paper textbooks in today’s digital age.

Because both formats have their pros and cons, it may be best for libraries to lend material cohesively by bundling print and digital books or providing eBooks as a supplement to print copies. An example of this method is Tantor’s Audio & eBook Classics, wherein the publisher bundles companion eBooks on PDF for over 300 of their classic audiobooks. You can find these titles on CVS Midwest Tape’s website by SmartBrowsing Tantor Audio & eBook Classics.

Do patrons at your library prefer one format to the other? What feedback have you received from patrons and librarians?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

RDA to Replace Outdated Cataloguing Methods

Written by Kristen Zenz

Over the past two centuries, library cataloguing has moved from book to card to Online Public Access Catalogues. Now, as we start a new year, cataloguing standards might see a change once again. Say hello to Resource Description and Access (RDA). Created by the Joint Steering Committee (JSC), RDA intends to make library collections more logically organized and easier to scour. However, as the new cataloguing method goes through testing, mixed reviews are starting to form.

What is RDA?
The JSC created RDA from a combination of cataloguing methods, like Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) and Functional Requirements for Authority Data (FRAD). Integrated with FRAD and FRBR, this new standard will support the clustering of bibliographic records to show relationships between different works.1

Created to replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd Edition (AACR2), RDA goes beyond previous standards, providing a new guideline for cataloguing digital resources. It also places a stronger emphasis on helping users find, identify, select, and obtain information they want with an interface that resembles modern-day search engines.1

Developed in 1978, AACR2 was created for an environment dominated by the card catalogue. Because of this, it is not as capable of handling metadata from an influx of digital resources or linking metadata from multiple formats like hardcover and print books and abridged and unabridged audiobooks. In order to resolve this problem, the JSC has coded RDA to gather information in a significantly different manner.

According to AACR2 rules, cataloguing occurs from physical items. RDA, on the other hand, is capable of gathering and inferring information from a plethora of digital and external resources. This new method hopes to improve the workflow and performance of cataloguers, as metadata can be gathered from a wider set of sources. Despite the differing information-gathering processes, there is little variation when comparing MARC records created by the two cataloguing methods. For example, here is how a MARC record will look using RDA compared to AACR2:

As you can see, some specific punctuation marks are transcribed to RDA just as they appear on the source. Click here for more comparisons of MARC records created by AACR2 and RDA.

Usability and Functionality
Cataloguers in libraries and other communities can use RDA. This creates a solid alignment between RDA and the metadata used by archives, museums, publishers, educators, book dealers, and ILS vendors, and supports data sharing across metadata communities.1 As a result, cataloguers can cluster bibliographic records to express different formats, abridgments, translations, and editions. The more communities share, the easier it is to search and find.

Additionally, there is no communication standard associated with RDA. Users will be able to use RDA content with a slew of encoding schemas, like MARC21, MODS, and Dublin Core. And there will be no need to re-catalogue older records.2 Descriptions produced using RDA instructions are intended to be compatible with the large number of already existing AACR2 records.3

But with little change, cataloguers are arguing that there is no point in replacing the standard. On the blog Cataloging Futures, Christine Schwartz expresses concern that “the new headings being used to test bibliographic records (when there is already an established AACR2 form) will cause a lot of conflict and, if RDA is implemented, a lot of authority changes will need to happen in local systems.”4

What does this mean for libraries?
Currently, select libraries and organizations, along with the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library, are testing RDA to make sure the new method will cohesively blend with prior records. If all goes well, the JSC expects an official release date in April of 2011.5 Libraries will have a choice in whether they adopt the new method into their workflows, but if your library obtains bibliographic records from an entity that accepts RDA, you will have to choose between switching to RDA to get your records, converting RDA back to AACR2, or having a mixed catalogue.

However, as Galen Charlton commented on the Metadata Matters blog post “Irresistible Apology of the Day,” there could be trouble if some literary institutions do not adopt RDA. The library software programmer noted that the “large divide between academic, national, and public libraries could easily grow and stifle any true innovation in library metadata and management.”6

As systems change, workflows will need to be updated. The new process is principle-based rather than case-based, so users will not need to learn specific rules. Instead, they will have to apply judgments based on a set of new standards. In preparation for the switch, the Library of Congress has made training materials available via their website.

If your library is planning to make the switch to RDA, start looking at your budget. Initially, the RDA toolkit will cost $325 annually for the first user with more fees for additional users. Unlike AACR2, this is a continuing cost based on access. Click here for more pricing information.7

Is your library participating in RDA testing? How do you feel about the new cataloguing method? Do you think it will be as effective if only a number of libraries adopt the format? Share your thoughts and opinions here as comments.

More Information


Thursday, March 3, 2011

SmartCart: Incorporating Workflow Solutions

Written by Kristen Zenz

In this SmartCart series, you learned the basics of SmartCart, how to customize your cart with columns, and how to modify carts and products. Now we approach the final instalment, where you will learn how to integrate CVS Midwest Tape’s Workflow Solutions into your shopping experience.

How do I input instructions for individual titles?
Follow the directions below to add notes to your order. These notes are only for your benefit. They will show up on your invoice, but they will not affect processing done by CVS Midwest Tape.

1.) Under the Instructions tab, you can specify details for line item, spine label, call number, processing notes, and internal notes. These notes apply to individual titles.

2.) You can also adjust Quantities, Branch Distributions, and fund amounts under the Quantity tab.

Note: If you wish to sign up for our customized processing service, fill out our workflow solutions brochure or call 866.698.2231 to speak to a customer service representative.

What if I need to add the same information for a group of titles?
With CVS Midwest Tape’s SmartCart you can add instructions for multiple titles with Mass Edit Instructions.

1.) Check the corresponding box to the left of the title.

2.) Select Mass Edit Instructions from the Products dropdown menu.

3.) Check the fields you wish to edit and fill in the instructions. These new instructions will overwrite existing instructions.

4.) Click the radio button “all items in the cart” or “all just the selected items” and then update to change the instructions.

5.) From the Products menu, you can also Set Funds as well as Set Branch Distributions for multiple items.

How do I download cataloguing records?
SmartCart allows you to download Vendor Records (free) and MARC on the Spot Records ($1.20/title) directly from our site.

1.) Click Download in the command toolbar.

2.) Select between Vendor and MARC on the Spot records.

3.) If you are not set-up to download MARC Records, you will be prompted to fill out a Full OCLC Acceptance Form.

4.) Check out our additional guides on how to download MARC on the Spot and Vendor MARC Records.

This concludes our SmartCart blog series, but be sure to look for our upcoming SmartCart video tutorial. In the meantime, play around with SmartCart and share your thoughts and experiences here as comments.