Our CDs from the RIAA settlement have started coming in. We received 367 boxes yesterday and 503 more today. We're not sure if there will be more, but it seems likely since someone said we're supposed to get 30,000 CDs. We're still debating the best way to distribute them to our 86 public libraries, so I took the opportunity to browse through some of the boxes.
For the BMG boxes, I didn't have to open them at all. Each one has a label on the outside with the titles of the contents on the outside, 30 CDs to a box. If there was ever any doubt that libraries are receiving bargain bin CDs that couldn't even be sold through "12 for the price of 1" clubs, let them forever be dispelled now.
Several of the boxes are literally cut on the side, and the cut goes into the jewel cases themselves. Hence my declaration that we received a ton of "cut-outs." Some of the boxes even have dates of 2001 and 2002 posted on the labels, which I hope doesn't mean the date they were boxed up and put into storage. There is no way these boxes were packed by mistake as the result of a computer glitch. Some of the labels very clearly say 30 copies of this or that title, and I highly doubt the labels were supposed to cut the boxes after boxing and labeling them. I posted some pictures of the boxes and CDs as proof on The Shifted Librarian Moblog (specifically, here and here).
I'm not sure we're going to do an actual accounting of what we received, and the record labels certainly aren't providing us with packing lists (must have been too difficult when you're just shoving stuff out the door to the UPS truck), so we may never know the extent to which we helped clean their warehouses of excess stock. I'm not in on the decision for doing inventory or distribution for our shipment, so I'll post more when I know how it's going to play out.
<sarcasm>But hopefully we'll have at least a few libraries that need Whitney Houston's version of "The Star Spangled Banner," Denyce Graves' "American Anthem," and Jefferson Airplane's "The Roar of Jefferson Airplane." Yeah, that definitely makes up for cheating libraries out of money for all those years.</sarcasm>
That's a rhetorical question, but call me an optimist.
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