Skip to Main Content

Streaming Video Collections

Streaming video collections available through the Rohrbach Library

Kanopy access changes

Why the Change?

Kanopy is a very popular online streaming service at KU. The library originally partnered with Kanopy in 2011 to host our locally produced and owned content.  In addition, the library made the decision to open Kanopy's popular catalog of high-quality documentaries and feature films to our students and faculty via the Open PDA (Patron Driven Acquisitions) Program.  This program allowed our users to decide what films the library licensed for them.  Four views of a film triggered a one-year lease of the title.  This model has worked well for the library over the years.  However we’ve recently experienced a significant increase in our costs due to increased usage. Due to the dramatic increase in the cost of the Open PDA Program the library is moving to Kanopy’s Mediated PDA Program starting on 7/1/19.  This program allows users to browse the entire Kanopy catalog but when they want to view a film they are asked to fill out a form to request it.  These forms then come to the library for approval.  The library will only be approving films that are used for classes or faculty research.  When approved Kanopy will turn on the film in approximately 24-hours.  This will allow the library to control costs.  The downside is, of course, users lose the ability to view any film they want at any time.  So Kanopy is not going away, but it is no longer an on-demand service instead users will need to request films be added.

Kanopy’s PDA Model

Here's how the previous model worked: The library agreed to set aside a budget to purchase films from Kanopy; Kanopy made their entire catalog of films available for viewing.  The library does not actually purchase any films until they are viewed. Kanopy defines a view as a single viewing of a film for more than 30 seconds. On the fourth viewing, the film is “triggered” and a purchase is made. The purchased film is licensed for unlimited campus wide use for one year. The trigger happens behind the scenes and the viewer is unaware when a film is triggered.

Kanopy's Mediated Model

Kanopy title browsing remains the same. When it comes time to view a film, a request form will appear instead. Please fill out this form and in your message specify the use (in-class screening, individual viewing for assignment, etc.) and a need by date. Once received, the librarian may email you for additional information before the library purchases the film.  Please note that all currently licensed films will still be available for instantaneous viewing, the form will only be presented when clicking on unlicensed films.

About licenses

Although Kanopy is different from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon they do share one similarity – they only license content, they do not sell content. When we purchase a license from Kanopy or any other streaming video provider, we are essentially leasing the content, but do not own the content. Licenses permit access for a defined period of time, in the case of Kanopy, we primarily purchase 1-year licenses but have the option to purchase a 3-year license. Our licenses with Kanopy permit individual viewing from on or off-campus, course-related screenings, and even campus screenings to Kutztown students, faculty, and staff.


What do I do if I want to assign a film for next semester?

Submit your request. The earlier the better so that we can budget for it. We will try to accommodate your requests as best as we can.

What can I request from Kanopy?

The library will only lease films for course use. We will also lease films for graduate student and faculty research purposes if no DVD is available. We will not lease films for recreational or general viewing. Where possible, we ask you to consider using films from our other streaming media collections, free streaming media options, or the library's DVD collection. This helps to ensure that funding is available for online courses, for films only available via Kanopy, and for individuals in need of closed captioning.

How do I request a license for a new Kanopy film?

If you click on a film title in Kanopy and see the Kanopy request form, we don’t currently have access. All you need to do is fill out the request form and it will be sent to a librarian to process.   Please make your request at least 3 working days before you need the film – a week is better. In your request message, please include the following information.

The course name and number for which you will use the film OR if you need the film for academic research purposes
Whether you would like a 1 or a 3 year lease. Base this on your anticipated course offerings and use of the film. We understand plans change.

What happens after I make the request? How long will it take to get the film? 

The request is forwarded to electronic resources librarian, Bob Flatley. He will double check that we don’t already own the title in another streaming media collection. After that, he will make the purchase in Kanopy as funds permit. It takes at least one working day for the order to be processed and the film to be available. If you make a request on the weekend or after hours, it will not be ordered until the next working day. Once the film is available, a librarian will email you a link to your film. It will also be added to the library's catalog.

How do I find media options to use in my classes?

The best thing to do is to search the library's catalog.  All of our various streaming media and DVD offerings are included, so you don’t have to search multiple websites.

More questions?

Please contact Bob Flatley, Electronic Resources Librarian, or your department’s liaison librarian,  and we’ll be in touch!

Kanopy Request Form

You will now see this form appear for any films that the library is not currently leasing.  In the message part please include the course name and number for which you will use the film OR if you need the film for academic research purposes.