Faculty & Staff Resources

How can the library help with video in the blended/distance classroom?

Providing access to copyrighted video in a blended/remote learning environment comes with challenges for both faculty and libraries.  

When the library receives a request from a faculty member regarding a video they plan to use in class, there are two factors we must consider:

1. Can the library legally provide access to the video?

If the answer to (1) is Yes,

2. Can the library afford to pay for access to the video?

    • consumer DVDs available from major vendors like Amazon
  •  IT DEPENDS:  
    • Purchasing or licensing streaming video and educational documentaries on DVD is extremely costly for academic libraries.  
    • The library will strive for equity across departments and faculty when allocating its limited budget.  
    • Please let the library know as soon as possible which videos you anticipate needing so that we can allocate resources appropriately.

What the library can’t do

What the library can’t do:  

  • We can’t rip or upload DVDs for faculty to show via Stream, etc. 
  • We can’t provide access to films on platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO Go, etc.; these services do not offer institutional licensing options
  • We can’t spend beyond our limited book/video budget


Kanopy videos must be requested in advance. The library’s budget for licensing Kanopy videos is limited. Please request as early as possible.

Showing DVDs Remotely

It is possible to play a DVD on your computer and show it remotely in real time to your students. The library and IT have created documentation and are available to consult with faculty who are planning to pursue this option.

Alternatives beyond the library

Rentals: Some streaming films are available for short-term rental at a cost less than that of an annual license. Rental fees cannot be paid using the library budget, but departmental funds may be available.

Far from ideal, but last-ditch: If you will be requiring students to view a large number of films that are only available via consumer streaming services, you might consider a subscription to these services as a course expectation akin to purchasing a textbook. Barriers would exist for some students (cost; lack of a credit card).