Library Lines: Media maintenance

Regular borrowers of DVDs and audiobooks on CD know that from time to time they encounter a disc that doesn’t play properly. We have a special machine for polishing and cleaning discs, but we do not subject them to this treatment unless there is a reported problem, as the process shortens the useful life of the item. The effect is similar to what happens to fine china if it is run repeatedly through the harsh elements of hot water and strong detergent in a dishwasher — over time important surface elements are worn away.

To help us maintain these items in the best condition possible, we rely on borrowers to let us know of problems so we can address these specific situations by cleaning, polishing or replacing discs as needed.  To make this easier, we are now inserting a form into the cases of DVDs and audiobooks to allow users to report problems when they return the item, without having to come to the circulation desk in person. Just indicate on the form which disc(s) did not work properly and describe the nature of the problem (skipping, sticking, garbled sound, whatever). We’ll take it from there. Thanks for your help.