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Collection Policies: Video

Choosing Formats for Video Purchase/License: Tips for Faculty/Instructors

Deciding between DVD or Streaming Video content is a complex process, which can have significant cost implications for the library. Use this guide to help you pick the most convenient and cost-effective option. Note that both video purchases and licenses will be charged to the same departmental budget line as books. When in doubt about which format to order, consult with your librarian liaison.

Image credit: Movies by Gemma Garner via Flickr CC License 2.0.

When to Choose DVD

Buying DVDs is usually the most cost-effective way for the library to purchase video content. One reason for this is that we are able to purchase rather than lease DVDs, which means that once we buy the DVD, we own it permanently and can use it indefinitely.



DVD Purchase Criteria:

  • You intend to screen the video to your whole class at one time.
  • You intend for your students to watch it outside of class, but they will not be overly inconvenienced by having to share access to a single, physical copy on reserve at Watzek Library.
  • You intend the video to be a part of our permanent collection because of its lasting value and/or relevance to the curricula.

When to Choose Streaming Video

Streaming Video is typically only available via license or subscription. That means the library pays fees to provide access to the video(s) for a set period of time (typically one year). If we want access to the video after the access period, we have to pay for it again. Some streaming videos are available to license individually, like the videos in our Kanopy Streaming Media database. Others are only available by subscription in groups or packages, like the videos in our PsycTHERAPY database.

Streaming Video License Criteria:

  • You intend for students to watch the video outside of class.
  • Students will be highly inconvenienced by having to share access to a single, physical copy on reserve at Watzek Library.
  • The video's value is of limited duration (i.e. the content will quickly become outdated or will not be used in this or other classes in the near future).

How to Request Videos for the Library

Direct all inquiries to your librarian liaison via email:

  1. Include the name of the video and--if you have them--any available links for purchase/license.
  2. Tell us the date by which you need to show or assign it.  
  3. Let us know if you prefer DVD or Streaming Video (we will default to DVD unless you specify streaming).
  4. If you request DVD, note that some DVDs are available for both individual and institutional purchase, and the library will usually elect to purchase the higher-priced institutional DVDs in order to obtain public performance rights. 
  5. If you are ordering a DVD for the current term, tell us if you would like it to go on course reserves when it arrives. This will ensure it is available for your screening date.  Faculty may check out items on reserve for use in their classes.  To have a video on reserve transferred to the Graduate Campus, please email or your librarian liaison.
  6. For Streaming Video requests, please justify (see criteria above), and we will investigate licensing options. If the title is available for an individual license, we will consider it. Note that if the title is only available as part of a subscription package with other videos (and we do not already have a subscription) we will probably not be able to get it.  
  7. For Streaming Video requests from the Kanopy Streaming Media database, it is better and faster to email your liaison directly, following these instructions, than to make the request within the Kanopy interface.