In summer 2020, we changed the access model for the video streaming platform Kanopy. Under our previous model, users could click on films in Kanopy and begin to watch them; however, the library was charged according to usage, so as more films began to be watched more often, we saw exponential growth in the amount we had to pay Kanopy each year. Furthermore, under this model, users did not know that their usage was resulting in charges accruing to the library, and the library was unaware of charges until they had already been made.

The library sustained a significant cut to its operating budget in 2020. As part of the measures taken to reduce costs, the library changed to its current mediated access model, whereby users fill out a request form on the Kanopy site prior to being given access to view a film. While we understand that this makes access to films a bit less instant, it helps the library to be aware of charges that are accruing. It also helps the library (and, concomitantly, the College) save money because many films that are available in Kanopy are available elsewhere, at a lower cost, and/or are duplicates of items we already have in our collection. Further, because of the expense involved we will only authorize film licenses for academic purposes (rather than personal ones).

With all this in mind, if you need access to a film for a class or research project, please follow the following steps. Do note that librarians will evaluate the most cost-effective way to provide access to a film, meaning that we may or may not provide access through Kanopy. Please contact us at least seven days prior to your class. 

Check the library catalog for the film.
• If the film is listed as an available streaming option, you may use it for your class.
• If the film is listed as a DVD or VHS, we may be able to arrange for a streaming version. Contact your library liaison for more details.
• If the film is not listed (i.e., we do not currently own or license the film), proceed to the next step.

If we do not currently own or license the film, you have two options (do note that these options are not mutually exclusive):

  1. Contact your library liaison, who can help determine whether a video is available;
  2. Visit the Kanopy page, where you can view an index of films that are potentially available through Kanopy. Films listed in this database require library approval, and may be available through one or more other, less expensive platforms. To request that we activate a license for a film, you may use the Kanopy request form through this site. Just do note that we may or may not fill the request through Kanopy.