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Media Desk in the David Kirk Digital Scholarship Commons

The David Kirk Media Center supports the study and teaching of film and digital media, acting, languages, music, and other disciplines. Faculty depend on the Media Center's collections and annually borrow thousands of items for classroom use. Students use

Kanopy & Streaming Media Requests

This year the Library will continue to support faculty/teaching assistant requests to license streaming media from Kanopy and other streaming media vendors for films that are:

  • required for class support/instruction, and 

  • where student enrollment is too large to rely on Media Reserve access for a DVD copy of the needed film.

What you can expect this year:

  • When you make a streaming film purchase request, if it is not clear from your request that the film is required viewing for your class and that a library-owned DVD will not suffice, staff from the library will ask you a few more follow-up questions than we normally do. 
  • The intention of our follow-up is not to question your need for the film - it is to start a conversation with you about use requirements for the film. We want to work together to make the film accessible in a way that will meet your current and future students’ needs.

How to make streaming media requests for class support

  • Check Library Search to see if we already own the film. If we do, use the Course Reserve process for getting the film added to your class list. 

  • If we do not own it as a DVD or as a streaming file, use the Recommend A Purchase form to request the film. Include reasons for needing a streaming file (class size & required viewing outside of class).

  • If we do own it as a DVD but that will not support your class needs, include your reasons for needing a streaming file (class size & required viewing outside of class).

  • If we have a streaming file through Kanopy now, contact us to determine the length of the license/access so we can work with you to make sure your students will be able to access the film when it is needed [see below “Important Info About Kanopy Films in the Catalog” for details].

Why are we scoping streaming requests to course support only?

  • In April, it became clear that our three-year pilot with Kanopy streaming services was outpacing our budget and we could not continue the program as it was. At that time we contacted departments to alert you to the need to change how we manage streaming media requests. 

  • We know streaming media is a great option for everyone. However, the streaming services like Kanopy, many filmmakers, and many film distributors offer only lease access to streaming files of their works. This means that films needed year-over-year are paid for repeatedly. In other words, we never own the film and you can’t rely on the film being available the next time you need it because the lease is short-term.

  • We want to focus spending on leased materials where you really need us to and, if you know a film will be used year-over-year, we want to make it accessible in the most cost-effective way because we want to make sure we are using the budget to meet as many campus research and teaching needs as we can. 

Important information about Kanopy Films currently in the library catalog

  • Streaming films have different licensing end dates. To view the licensing end date of a Kanopy film in Library Search, find the relevant information under the Full text availability section of the film record. 

image of an item record

  • NOTE: if a Kanopy title is missing a license end date, contact
  • If you need clarification about the licensing end date or know you'll need to use a film after the end date, contact us to talk about options.

Other Streaming Film Resources

UCSC Library Resources

The below databases are streaming film databases. Individual titles for films in these databases are discoverable through Library Search.

  • Filmakers Library Online
  • American History in Video
  • World History in Video
  • 60 minutes: 1997-2014
  • Ethnographic Video Online 

FITC Options

Within copyright fair use guidelines, FITC staff can work with you if you need streaming clips from physical DVDs to support your class need.


There are some films you have explicit permission from Netflix to use your personal Netflix account to show in class.