Policy Regarding Cable Channel 44 Pre-recorded Programs


  1. The purpose of the Fairfax County Public Library's Cable Channel 44 is to provide video programming and production in accordance with the Library's mission statement and to maintain video programming standards which adhere to the quality, balance, timeliness, suitability, and relevance to community needs as expressed in the Library's collection development policy as well as in the Education Film Library Association's Freedom to View Statement.17
  2. On-air Programming — Cablecast programming includes both originally produced programming and pre-packaged film and videotapes licensed to FCPL.
    1. Examples of original programming, that which is written, filmed, and produced in the Channel 44 studio, are public service announcements on various aspects of the collection, a series of local author interviews and features on using various library services such as computerized information retrieval.
    2. Examples of pre-recorded programming, that which is purchased from outside sources for cablecasting on Channel 44, are informational/educational titles such as "The Royal Heritage" and "The Silent Network."
    The focus of this policy statement is the selection and acquisition of pre-recorded or pre-packaged films and videos for cablecasting on Channel 44.
  3. Goal of Pre-recorded Selection — To provide cable programming that meets the evolving educational, recreational, and informational needs and interests of the public.
  4. Objectives
    1. To purchase programs which focus on literature, books, reading, literacy skills, and like topics directly related to intrinsic character of a library. Examples: "Children's Storybook Theatre" (Aims Media), "A Conversation with Gwendolyn Brooks" (Library of Congress), "Starting to Read Series" (Aims Media).
    2. To purchase programs which focus on general informational/educational themes, to complement materials available in branch collections. Examples: "20th Century History" (BBC), "Asian Insight" (Film Australia).
    3. To present film and video creations not generally available on broadcast or other cable channels.
    4. To present, when available, different viewpoints on the same topic which meet standards for objectivity, quality, and other criteria.
  5. Responsibility for Selection of Pre-Recorded Programming
    1. As with library materials, the authority and responsibility for the selection of pre-recorded programming for cablecasting is delegated to the Library Director and, under his/her direction, to the Cable Television Coordinator and/or other professional staff who are qualified by reason of education, background, training, and experience. The Cable Television Coordinator and FCPL's Program Coordinator will review new requests annually in order to match branch programming films with cablecast programming leading to a more coherent whole.
    2. Suggestions from staff members (other than those officially assigned the selection responsibility) and from Channel 44 viewers are encouraged and seriously considered in the selection process.
  6. Criteria for Selection — The evaluation of pre-recorded programming is characterized by flexibility, open-mindedness, and a responsiveness to needs of citizens. Series programs are evaluated as a whole and not on the basis of a particular section or sections. While a single standard cannot be applied to each potential item for selection, programs are judged by appropriate criteria. These criteria may include artistic merit, scholarship, and the value of the materials to the informational needs of the community. A program will be considered for cablecasting even though it PRESENTS HONEST ASPECTS OF LIFE.
    • General Criteria (an enumeration, not ranking)
      • Availability of program and cablecasting rights as well as appropriate format
      • Suitability of subject, style, and level for the intended audience
      • Critics' reviews
      • Reputation of the producer; significance of the subject matter
      • Timeliness or permanence of the subject
      • Quality of the reproduction
      • Relevant to community needs
      • Potential view interest
      • Availability of complementary material in branch collections
      • Price
    • Specific Criteria for the Evaluation of Programs
      1. Content Criteria
        • Recent and accurate information
        • Competence of writer/producer
        • Objectivity
        • Comprehensiveness and depth of treatment
        • Clarity AND LOGIC of presentation
      2. Technical/Visual Criteria
        • Usability of technical structure: organization, editing, continuity
        • Picture and sound quality
      3. Additional Criteria for the Evaluation of Creative Programs
        • Representation of an important movement, genre, trend, or culture
        • Vitality and originality
        • Artistic presentation and quality evidenced in the setting, theme, point of view, and style
        • Sustained interest and entertainment
  7. Reconsideration of Pre-recorded Programs — Procedures for reconsideration of programs follow practiced procedures for reconsideration of materials in collections. Programs are not automatically removed from the Cable schedule upon request. The person with the request for reconsideration should be referred to the Cable Television Coordinator who should explain that program selections are made in accordance with a selection policy.

    If the viewer is not satisfied with the explanation, she/he may ask for reconsideration in the following manner:
    1. A letter, stating the specifics of the objections or complaining, must be written to the Cable Television Coordinator. The Cable Television Coordinator will respond in writing to the viewer, advising him/her that the letter requesting reconsideration of the program has been forwarded to FCPL's Public Information Officer. A copy of the Pre-recorded Program Selection Policy should be included with this letter.
    2. The Public Information Officer will meet with two professional staff members to view and reconsider the program. This review committee will obtain and consider available reviews on the program.
    3. The reviewers will put their recommendations in writing to the Public Information Officer who will then write to the viewer regarding the committee's recommended action. A copy of the letter will be sent to the Cable Television Coordinator.
    If the viewer desires further action, he/she may appeal to the Library Director AND THEN to the Board of Trustees in writing.

 

17 Freedom to View Statement, Addendum 16


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