Kanopy Changes

NOTE: The message below was posted to the Academic listserv 12/5 and Campus listserv 12/7/2019. Subsequently a Library Guide, Kanopy: How to Request a Video for Your Class, was also made available.

Dear Colleagues,

If you don’t use Kanopy, this may not be of interest. If you use Kanopy, please read on! It’s important.

We’ve been using Kanopy as our streaming video service for 2 years. Everyone who uses it—faculty, students, staff—loves it. It’s an awesome resource for thousands of videos, and it really has no rival in terms of content and user experience. The problem is that the library can’t afford to provide unlimited access to Kanopy anymore.

You may be aware that I’ve hosted several Kanopy discussion sessions recently with faculty and staff. The purpose of these discussion sessions was to explain the budget related to Kanopy and to share my analysis of how we can continue to subscribe to Kanopy in a sustainable way. I’m grateful to the faculty and staff who joined the discussions and shared their reactions and insights; also for the many questions they asked, because these helped me to refine my understanding of their concerns and come to what I think is a reasonable use model for everyone who loves Kanopy.

I’m attaching the presentation that the folks who were at the discussion sessions saw. I’m including the annotations for context. Kanopy discussions with faculty (PDF)

Here’s how Kanopy will change beginning on Dec 12:

The day after fall quarter ends, we’ll move from unlimited Kanopy access to the mediated Kanopy model (explained in the attached presentation). When you open Kanopy on the library’s website, you’ll see the videos that we are already licensing. You and your students can watch any of those for free. If you have a specific title in mind that does not appear there, type it into the Kanopy search box. When the video comes up, click on it and a request form will appear. Any staff, faculty, or student can fill out the request form. The completed form comes to me, as the coordinator of library media services, and I approve or not, based on our collection development criteria for streaming video. This criteria is summarized on slide #10, attached.

Because the highest priority will be given to those videos that are essential to supporting the curriculum, we’ll be licensing fewer videos, thereby spending our funds more judiciously. Rather than using Kanopy like Netflix, we’ll be using it to license videos that you require in your courses.

To augment this targeted collection, we’ll subscribe to Media Education Foundation (MEF), which is our top supplier in Kanopy. This subscription will give us more documentary videos to choose from at an affordable, stable price. We’ll also subscribe to DocuSeek2, which has exclusive rights to distributors not in Kanopy. No need to fill out a request form to view the videos in these collections. You can preview the MEF collection here and the DocuSeek2 collection here.

My hope is that this arrangement will give you a robust video collection to choose from for your courses. And it will be far more affordable than the current Kanopy model! More on these new resources soon.

Shortly, I’ll send you a library guide that will explain how to request titles in Kanopy, along with FAQs and screenshots. If you need one or two specific titles in Kanopy for a course you’re teaching in winter quarter, contact me directly asap with the title and when you plan to assign it to your students. In winter quarter and beyond, if you ask your students to view films of their choice, I ask that you please direct them to view our licensed titles rather than to request new titles.

Please share this with your colleagues who may not be watching the listserv. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.



Barbara Quarton
Coordinator of Library Media Services
John M. Pfau Library
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407

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