University of Hawaii at Manoa Library


Wong Audiovisual Center


The Wong Audiovisual Center (AVC) was established to provide a collection of audiovisual resources in science, social science and humanities to support curriculum requirements and research needs at all university levels. Emphasis is given to the acquisition of materials that support instructional objectives.

Areas of strength include Hawaiian and Pacific Studies, Asian Studies, the graphic and performing arts, anthropology and ethnographic materials, literature and drama, linguistics, communication, education, geography, urban planning, cinema studies, psychology, philosophy, religion, family and human resources, marine sciences, diversity issues, environmental studies, peace studies, social and political issues, international studies, ethnic studies, architecture, social work, history, public affairs, and women's studies. The video collection is not evenly divided among subject areas. Not all subjects are equally suited for video presentation, nor are all subject areas equally represented in the AV market. Nearly every discipline, however, has educational materials available in the collection. There is a strong expectation on the part of the campus community that the collection will contain up-to-date materials on a broad range of topics.

The Center also makes available a video collection of feature films of historical, educational, cultural and artistic value. Although most are purchased with ASUH funds, this collection is regularly used for instructional purposes and is strongly supported by faculty in English, the Academy for Creative Media, Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas, East Asian Languages and Literature, Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature, Family and Consumer Science, History, Anthropology, American Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Women's Studies, Ethnic Studies, the Honors Program, Theatre and Art.


The Wong Audiovisual Center houses the main collection of media on the Manoa campus, with the exception of the Law School and the Medical School which take care of most of their own AV needs.

Highest priority is given to materials requested by university faculty as essential to accomplish teaching objectives or research needs, but primary responsibility for collection development is held by the video librarian, in consultation with the discipline selectors. All requests are expected to meet criteria outlined in this document. Music related audiovisual materials are selected and funded by the music selector. Hawaiian media is selected and funded by the Hawaiian curator. The Pacific curator funds AV purchases, budget permitting. Other selectors, especially those in the Asia collection, occasionally select and fund media items.


Language: Primarily English language, but also representative foreign language feature films (with subtitles) and documentaries from Asia and the Pacific islands (often without subtitles).

Chronological: No limitations.

Geographic: No limitations, but the emphasis is on western and Asian cultures. Hawaii and the Pacific Islands are collected as comprehensively as possible. Careful attention is paid to the purchase of videos on and from Asia. Representative coverage is provided for other parts of the world.

Date of Publication: No limitations, but the emphasis is on current materials.

Types and Formats of Materials Collected:

Audio: The preferred format is compact disc or online digital compilations. 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm phonodiscs and audio tapes (cassette and open reel) are also collected if they are the only format available. Recorded books are not purchased.

Visual: The preferred format is DVD. Videotapes are rarely acquired. Hawaiian and Pacific Islands material is acquired in any format available.

Treatment: Circulation and performance of library media materials must conform to the producer's licensing agreements as well as copyright law.


Preservation Considerations: The media collection is intended to be a collection of lasting instructional and research value. Every effort is made to store and maintain the materials so as to minimize damage and wear. Dying and obsolete formats are replaced on newer formats when both appropriate and possible.

Deselection: Weeding or deaccession is an integral part of the collection development process. Formal weeding of the total collection based on low use statistics is completed systematically every three or four years. Informal review is ongoing.

Programs are evaluated on the basis of circulation count and last action date, currency and content. Special attention is given to rapidly changing fields, e.g., science, technology, economics, geography, politics and government and to materials containing geographically incorrect information, outdated clothing or automobiles and antiquated presentation styles. Programs which have been superseded are also candidates for withdrawal. Hawaii, Pacific and Asia materials are less likely to be recommended for deaccession than programs in other geographic areas. Federal depository items cannot be withdrawn.

Withdrawal decisions are initiated by the video librarian and reviewed/approved by subject selectors.

Replacement copies for missing, worn/damaged videos are ordered only if the currency and usefulness of the item warrants it. Subject selectors may be involved in the replacement process if they choose to do so. Withdrawn videotapes are replaced with DVD format whenever possible.

Gifts: Gifts are evaluated using the same criteria as purchased materials. Only lawfully made or purchased media items are accepted as gifts. All gifts are evaluated for physical quality.

Duplication: Only AV items which are very heavily used for instructional purposes are purchased as duplicate copies.

Closed Captioning: When available, closed-captioned videos are purchased to serve both the hearing impaired and students who are learning English.

Considerations for Purchasing Documentary Videos: When selecting programs for the collection the following criteria are considered.

Balance within existing collection: Anticipated use. Do we have similar titles? How often do they circulate? Do we need more videos on this topic? How does title compare with other videos in the collection?

Probable useful life: Will subject matter or treatment immediately become outdated? Is the film outdated? Is currency important?

Purchase price: Are there other similar titles available at a lower cost? Can we get a discount? Does another vendor sell the video for less? Is the title overpriced? Selected programs should be commensurate with price, need, potential use and budgeting considerations.

Audience: Is the video college level? Who will use the video? Have there been requests for videos on the topic? Relevance to UH curriculum. Does video support instructional objectives? Relation to University's areas of excellence. Would video be more appropriate in a public library?

Reputation of producer/distributor/filmmaker: For example, shows appearing on PBS are determined to be quality programming and are therefore purchased if deemed necessary by content, lack of subject in the existing collection, or providing new, up-to-date information on a topic.

Awards/recognition: TV broadcast, theater distribution, publicity, critical acclaim, film festivals, favorable reviews from recognized, authoritative review sources.

Review: Should faculty member/library selector be consulted? Should the video be previewed before purchasing?

Interdisciplinary potential: If funds are limited, is the title too specialized? How many people on campus can use it?

Production values: Organization, thoroughness, accuracy, authority, objectivity, length, aesthetic appeal. Is the video too superficial?

Other: Does the film have potential for stimulating discussion? Would the information be better conveyed by a book or another format? Does the program provide information or presentation that is unique to or only available in the video format?

Considerations for Purchasing Feature Films:

"Classic films." The most important works of acclaimed directors, producers, actors, actresses or other significant personalities in the film world. Films which are critically acclaimed. Films appearing on "Best" lists. Recipients of film awards.

Films of biographical, sociological, psychological or historical interest. In other words, films which contribute to teaching in disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology and English.

Diverse collection representing all genres, countries of origin, important social, political and economic themes.

Films on or shot in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

Adaptations of literary classics. Musicals.

The best of American independent cinema.

Well developed collection of Asian feature films.

Films of ethnic interest, especially Asian American.

Artistic merit. Film as art, fine cinematography, sets, costume, animation, special effects.

Films that are an important source of information on a country and its culture or provide important documentation of the times.

Films that provide insight into human and social needs or that focus on specific social problems, e.g., drug abuse, crime, breakdown of the family, environmental issues, immigration, prostitution, disability.

No colorized films are purchased. Dubbed videos are purchased only when a version with subtitles is not available.

Compiled by: Linda Engelberg
Date: June 2008

Terms of Use  |  UH Mānoa  |  UH System  |  Ask Us
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Library  |  2550 McCarthy Mall  |  Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA
808-956-7214 (Reference)  |  808-956-7203 (Circulation)  |  808-956-7205 (Administration)
808-956-5968 (fax)  |  Email Us