The Unofficial Bob Dylan

Free Tape Library

Library Dubbing Services Procedures

The following procedures are designed to facilitate the efficient servicing of Requests For Dubbing Services. Though the Librarian is cognizant that it may be inconvenient for some Patrons to adhere to them, the volume of requests the Library is called upon to service dictates that they be followed scrupulously. Failure to observe them may result in the suspension or revocation of your Library Dubbing Services privileges.

The Patron ID

All Library Patrons are assigned a Patron ID. A Patron ID may be obtained by completing and submitting the online form on the Library web site or by telephone. The Library will no longer entertain requests for a Patron ID by regular mail.
As it is computerized and requires no intervention on the part of the Librarian, the online form is the preferred method of obtaining a Patron ID.
Telephone requests may be made between 0700 and 1430 hours (7 am 'til 2:30 pm PST).
You may request but a single Patron ID per family or household. If it is determined that an individual is using more than one Patron ID in order to submit Requests For Dubbing Services, their Dubbing Services privileges will be revoked.

Requests For Dubbing Services

Requests For Dubbing Services are to made by E-Mail or telephone. The Library will no longer entertain Requests by regular mail. A valid Patron ID is required to submit a Request For Dubbing Services. Do not submit your Request until you actually have the tape(s) in hand and ready to send to the Library. If you submit a Request, obtain an Authorization, and fail to follow through, you may expect that future Requests For Dubbing Services will be denied.
E-mail Requests are now being processed by computer. It is necessary, therefore, to adhere to a format that the system understands. Request should be submitted to The subject line should include only the word "Request" followed by a space, then your Patron ID. If your Patron ID is AB1234, the subject line would read: Request AB1234. The first line of the E-mail message should include only the date of your selection, in the format MM/DD/YY. The system will also accept the arguments A (for afternoon Performance), E (for evening Performance), and V (for video). If, for example, you are requesting the afternoon performance at the second Supper Club, the first line of your message would read: 11/17/93A. If, you are requesting a video of the performance at C. Y. Stephens Auditorium, Ames, IA on 04/07/94, the first line of your message would read: 04/07/94V. If the date of your selection is not given or unclear and you feel the need to describe your selection, the first word of the first line should read EXCEPTION followed by your comments. If your selection calls for one recording on side A and another on side B the first line should read: MM/DD/YY & MM/DD/YY. Alternatively, a "Request Number" may be used if one appears in the listing. "Request Numbers" refer to a specific recording and, as a consequence, eliminate ambiguity. The format is YYMMDDNS, where YY is year, MM is month, DD is day, N is recording number, and S is source. Woodstock 94, for example, is offered as 9408141, 9408141V, 9408142, or 9408142V. Do not make up a "Request Number." If it isn't in the Listing, it isn't in the database, and the system won't know how to deal with it.
Do not include any other comments in your Request. At best, they will go unread. At worst, they will confuse the system and your request will be denied or go unanswered. The system should acknowledge your E-mail by providing an Authorization, or a denial of your Request, within 24 hours. If you have not received a response of some sort within 48 hours you should assume there was a problem and resubmit the Request.
Telephone request should be considered only if you do not have access to E-mail or are unable to provide hard copy of the authorization. As telephone requests must be manually entered into the system, you may be asked to call back if the system is inaccessible or if the Librarian is otherwise occupied. Telephone requests may be made between 0700 and 1430 hours (7 am 'til 2:30 pm PST). Please be prepared to provide your Patron ID.

The Authorization

All tapes sent to the Library for dubbing must be accompanied by a valid Authorization. The Authorization is obtained by submitting a Request For Dubbing Services to the Librarian. The librarian will acknowledge your Request by providing an Authorization. If you are unable to provide a printout or copy of the Authorization, your Request must be submitted by telephone.
Authorizations are issued under the assumption that you have everything in order and are prepared to send the tape(s) immediately. Accordingly, your Authorization is valid for but ten days. The Expiry Date is indicated at the bottom of your Authorization. If the unforeseen occurs and you are unable to assure that the tape(s) will arrive prior to the Expiry Date, notify the librarian by E-mail or telephone immediately (within three days of issuance) and no penalties will accrue.
Tapes that are received after the Expiry Date will be returned, udubbed. A second offense will result in revocation of Library Dubbing Services privileges.

Quarterly Selections

You may submit one Request every three months (except during May and November, when Library Dubbing Services are suspended) up to a total of six tapes per year. Requests for a selection that calls for more than one tape (ie The Basement Tapes) will be honoured, but will be serviced only when all other requests of a lesser number of tapes have been serviced. If a selection uses but one side of a tape, you may also make a selection to go on the other side. Quarterly selections are not transferable may not be accumulated. If you fail to submit a Request in January, you may not submit a request for two selections in March.


Always send tapes in cases. When tapes enter the dubbing queues they are stacked. Caseless tapes do not stack well. Caseless tapes will will be returned, udubbed. A second offense will result in revocation of Library Dubbing Services privileges.

Most dubbing problems are directly attributable to improperly labeled tapes. Label your tapes properly. Label the spine of video tapes. Label the A side of audio tapes. Do not label the B side of the tape unless the B side calls for a different selection. The label serves not only to identify your tape, but as a visual clue to allow the Librarian to easily differentiate between the A and B sides. Tapes with both sides labeled are very likely to have but one side dubbed. Include the date of the performance, the tape number (only if more than one tape), and your Patron ID. If, for example, your selection is 02/24/78 Matsishita Denki Taiikukan, Osaka, Japan, and your Patron ID is AB1234, label the 90 minute tape "02/24/78 Tape 1 AB1234" and the 60 minute tape "02/24/78 Tape 2 AB1234." The order of the tape sizes required, as presented in the listing, always reflects the order of the tapes. In other words, if the listing calls for 1 x 90 and 1 x 60 min., the 90 minute tape is the first tape and the 60 minute tape is the second tape. Conversely, if the listing calls for 1 x 60 and 1 x 90 min., the 60 minute tape is the first tape and the 90 minute tape is the second tape. Improperly labeled tapes will will be returned, udubbed. A second offense will result in revocation of Library Dubbing Services privileges.

Tapes must be of the length specified in the Authorization. If the request calls for two sixty minute tapes, please don't send a 120 minute tape. Similarly, don't send a 110 minute tape for a selection that calls for a 100 minute tape. Dubbing decks are not connected to speakers, so your Librarian has no clue as where the side of a tape ends. Consequently dubbing services are limited to duplicating tapes, as opposed to making custom copies. Tapes of inappropriate length will will be returned, udubbed. A second offense will result in revocation of Library Dubbing Services privileges.

Though the Librarian suggests you send new (unrecorded) tapes for your selections, if you wish to send used (previously recorded) tapes that is your prerogative. Do not, however, send tapes with the write protect tabs removed. Tapes with write protect slots covered with sticky tape are not acceptable. They will be returned undubbed!


You are expected to provide a self addressed return mailer that has the return postage affixed. No addressed labels and loose postage, please. If from abroad, and you are unable to obtain US postage, include sufficient IRCs to cover return postage along with the self addressed return mailer.
Be aware that the US Postal Service has recently taken to returning parcels on which postage stamps are covered (even partially) with tape. If the stamps don't stick properly, the librarian suggests you consider using glue. US Patrons may use which ever postage rate they choose, however the librarian has observed that Priority Mail may not be worth the extra expense. Typically, Priority Mail is three, and occasionally four, days in transit. First Class usually takes but three to five days. If but a single tape is sent, depending on the weight mailers used, the First Class rate is either $0.77 or $0.99. Priority Mail is $3.20 and, at best, saves two days. All parcels mailed abroad are sent at the Small Parcel rate, which is a special airmail rate for audio and video tapes. Accordingly, Patrons abroad should not write "Air Mail" nor put Air Mail stickers on their return mailers. It will only serve to confuse the postal authorities and may result in the parcel being returned with the demand for additional postage to cover the much more expensive Air Mail rate. Under no circumstances should money be sent in lieu of postage. As the librarian will not accept money, and can no longer afford to pay for the return postage, the servicing of your request will be delayed until postage, or IRCs, arrive. Any money so sent will be returned with the tape(s). Additionally, subsequent requests for Library Dubbing Services will be denied.


Although the librarians strive to service requests promptly and provide you with sound, problem free tapes, occasionally we fall short of the mark. Regardless of the problem, be assured that the librarian will work with you to get it resolved. Telephone (between 7 am and 2:30 PM PST) and report the problem. Be prepared to provide your Patron ID. In all likelihood you will be instructed to include the problem tape(s) with the tape(s) you send for dubbing to satisfy your next request.

Last updated 04/06/01

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