It’s Not Netflix: Licensing and Streaming in the Library

The third session I attended, along with Julia, at the Teaching & Technology Conference was called It’s Not Netflix: Licensing & Streaming the Library instructed by Amanda Timolat, Adjunct Media Librarian & Michael Waldman, Head, Collection Management, Newman Library. The idea was brought about my Film Studies students at Baruch College. who were required to watch films, but the library could not afford to buy DVDs for everyone in the class.

Timolat and Waldman decided to work together to find out the rights Baruch College Library had as an educational institution in order to stream the required films online. Baruch has the right for face-to-face teaching, but cannot reformat and stream DVDs. Netflix, for instance, does not have institutional licenses. They found a solution in Swank, which allowed hosting for Baruch.

In terms of managing all of the films with the information they were gathering,  Timolat and Waldman had to find a complex spreadsheet. Excel offered them no collaboration and  Google allowed for web format, but the project outgrew the spreadsheet form. They found relief in Zotero which can record all of the information about the films and catalog records. It is a great storage space.

The challenges for this project are still ongoing. It is still difficult to contact studios and receive a timely response. The technology including the streaming format, processing time, and evaluating user experiences remain challenging. Also, collaboration between departments. Currently, there are 25 films currently streaming.


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