Using Video at Western

Scholarly Materials Information

Media Collection

Using Video at Western

Information on finding and using video and streaming video at the Western Libraries

Western Libraries supports the use of media in Western courses and assignments. Listed below are a variety of options for incorporating video into coursework, resources available through the Libraries, and brief explanations of relevant copyright principles. These explanations should not be interpreted as legal advice. Instructors should decide which option is most appropriate based on their pedagogical needs.

Streaming Media Options

Western Libraries supports the curricular streaming needs of the university. However, the high cost of streaming videos, combined with budget constraints, limits what the Libraries can provide. If you request the Libraries acquire a streaming title, we may follow up with you to discuss the viability of non-streaming or other streaming options (e.g. open source providers or commercial streaming services). More information about these alternatives is included below. Criteria for acquiring streaming video described below may be adjusted from quarter to quarter based on funding.

Link to Western Libraries Streaming Video

  • Finding Streaming Content: Western Libraries provides access to a large number of licensed streaming videos. As instructors are planning their syllabi, we recommend checking OneSearch and Academic Video Online first--or contacting the Media Librarian--to see if there are films already available that will work with the curriculum.
  • Course Reserves: Instructors may include streaming media in course reserves by using the Course Reserves Request Form. More information about course reserves is available on the Course Reserves page. Instructors can also add links to streaming media directly to their Canvas pages. Due to the high volume of e-reserve requests, this may be the fastest option in some cases. For help embedding streaming links in Canvas, contact your subject team.
  • Copyright: The Libraries has license agreements with various streaming providers to make these films available to Western faculty, staff, and students. 
  • Help: For help locating appropriate streaming content, contact your subject team or the Media Librarian. Contact the Course Reserves Manager for help placing streaming media items on course reserves.

Ask Students to Subscribe to a Commercial Streaming Service

Request that the Library Acquire Streaming Rights

Host Streaming Video Yourself

Request that Physical Media be Digitized

Non-Streaming Options

Western Libraries offers these options for using physical media in courses and assignments:

Requesting Physical Media

Classroom Screening

Course Reserves

Guidelines for Using Video in Your Classes

There are several ways that Western faculty use film and video in their classes. Below are observations on some of the most common approaches. We are happy to work with you to craft an approach that will fit your needs for a particular class. In general, it is best to contact us as far in advance as possible if you are thinking of using specific films in a class so that we can help find the best options for your course.

Please contact the Media Librarian or your subject team for help.

Some streaming platforms, like Academic Video Online (AVON), may allow you to create customized clips for classroom use. While DVDs are not as convenient for this purpose, there are ways to create clips from them. We would be happy to help you explore your options.

Assigning students to watch films outside of class

Who Can Help Me

Guideline Review

These guidelines were developed summer 2018 based on Georgetown University Library's Guide to Using Films in Courses (2017) and the University of Washington’s guide, Using Video & Streaming Video in Courses (2018).

The guidelines will be reviewed at least on a yearly basis. Last updated October 2020.


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