Video Trust is a 40-year-old nonprofit corporation that used to go by the name of National Media Market. Once an annual conference and trade show for film distributors and librarians, it became unsustainable as library budgets decreased. Over the decades, however, it formed an enduring, active and informal community of mutual support. Last year, in an attempt to continue to serve that community, the board elected to convert to a 501c3 and hold online webinars about topics connected to film and video collections in libraries in schools, colleges and in the public sector. The webinars have become successful in a short time, so now we’re expanding into publishing a quarterly journal of reviews, profiles, technology and scholarly articles. We maintain this website, publish a monthly newsletter, and run a cooperative online repository for digital films no longer available through distribution.
Video Trust strengthens libraries through publishing, holding educational events, providing professional development, sponsoring research, and advocating at all levels for adequate attention to the critical understanding and appreciation of film.
For 40 years, the National Media Market brought media professionals together with librarians for commerce, fellowship and the exchange of knowledge. A community was created that benefitted everyone involved. Today, though the Market event is not currently sustainable, the community of interest and need remains strong. Video Trust, the new organization created to serve that community, has a mandate to engage in activities that will help libraries grow stronger through the collection and use of film.
It’s difficult to imagine the modern world without the influence of the motion picture, which has become perhaps the most democratized of all artistic technologies. Whether video appears on YouTube or in a theater, it carries a powerful influence that’s made it the most widespread means of modern communication. And yet, film is not critically understood by most library patrons — many who can articulate the grammar of language can’t do so for this vital medium.
While nothing can replace the written word, libraries also need access to great film and the means for patrons and students to learn about film itself. Librarians need advanced knowledge of film history, commerce, copyright and technology. Those who fund libraries need to understand the importance of institutions that nurture critical thought and the ability to pair the fundamentals of the humanities with the achievements of science.
Video Trust intends to work for the advancement of libraries on all these levels.
a group of media professionals wanted a low-cost and highly productive mechanism to bring buyers, users and sellers of educational media together in a professional and highly productive marketplace atmosphere.
After significant effort by a volunteer Board of Directors composed of academic, school, public and state media librarians along with film distributors, the “National Film Market” formally opened on October 21, 1979 to rave reviews. It was the first “selling conference” of its kind, offering representatives from educational institutions and agencies coming from communities across the nation the opportunity to view films and make purchase decisions about the product directly and immediately.
With a modest name change in 1997 reflecting the replacement of 16mm film by other formats, National Media Market (NMM) continued its founders’ commitment to offering a highly productive working atmosphere for librarians and distributors alike. Over 40 years, a community grew that became dedicated to achievement of a fair marketplace and a collegial exchange of information related to technology, copyright, marketing, collection strategies, and other knowledge to strengthen all libraries through the use of film.
When decreasing library budgets in the modern era affected travel funding, NMM’s board refocused the organization to better serve all its community members as an advocacy for libraries, film, and the librarians who manage them. Today, Video Trust is educating through online professional development sessions that also provide a powerful marketing connection for film distributors and streaming platforms. In the works is an open-access publishing operation, sponsored research, and conference-driven activities to expand the proper use of and access to films for all.
Jeff Tamblyn, Executive Director
Film Marketing Consultant
Merriam, KS 66202
execdirector at videotrust.org
Erin DeWitt Miller, Chair
Head of Media & Discovery Park Libraries
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle
Denton, TX 76203
chair at videotrust.org
Julie Whang, Treasurer
joolesnyc at gmail.com
Susan Albrecht, Secretary
Wabash College Lilly Library
301 W Wabash Ave
Crawfordsville, IN 47933
albrechs at wabash.edu
VP, Director of Bullfrog Communities
P.O. Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
alex at bullfrogfilms.com
Digital Outreach Librarian
131-11 Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
cobine at pobox.upenn.edu
Coordinator, Film & Video Collection
Morris Library, University of Delaware
181 S. College Ave.
Newark, DE 19717
mtwchk at udel.edu
Senior Director Product Management ProQuest
888 7th Avenue New York, NY 10019
david.parker at proquest.com
Performing Arts Librarian
Alden Library, Ohio University
30 Park Place
Athens OH 45701
wochna at ohio.edu