In winter 2017, the Western Libraries began a pilot program to provide access to over 20,000 films on the Kanopy streaming platform. Films were free to the Western community until the fourth view, at which point they were automatically purchased for one year at a flat fee.
Over the 18 months that the Libraries piloted this patron-driven acquisition (PDA) approach, Western users watched more than 6,000 hours of content from more than 3,000 unique films, and triggered the purchase of over 200 titles. While the expansive access provided by the Kanopy PDA program has been valuable to our users, the financial impact and unpredictability of these unmediated film purchases has put a strain on the Libraries’ limited resource access budget. In order to pace spending and better steward university funds, the Libraries will be switching from the unmediated PDA model to a mediated, request-driven approach.
Effective July 1, Western faculty, staff, and students will be able to request Kanopy films for purchase (similar to the Libraries’ current practice of accepting book and DVD purchase requests). As before, Kanopy films will be discoverable via OneSearch, which will then direct users to an online request form. The Libraries will accept requests from faculty, staff, and students until the budget for each quarter has been expended. Because funding is limited, requests will be evaluated based on their relevance to specific coursework.
This new approach to Kanopy films is part of a broader library effort to revise and clarify media acquisition policies and guidelines. This fall, Western users can expect a new webpage summarizing the results of this work, including any changes from current practice.
 One Kanopy “view” was equivalent to watching thirty seconds of a film.