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Discovery Services Procedures: Audio Visual Materials

"How to" documents for OCLC, Alma, and general Discovery Services Procedures.

Selection and Acquisition of Visual Materials for Classroom Use

This document provides guidelines for the selection, ordering, and handling of visual materials for classroom use, particularly documentary and feature films, through the UTEP Library. Professors and subject librarians may submit requests for films with Public Performance Rights (PPR). In some cases, student requests for popular films with individual viewing rights only will be accepted. The Library does not purchase films for student organizations.

  • The Library subscribes to several streaming video databases. Librarians should encourage professors and other requesters to use materials available in streaming format. These materials are licensed for classroom use as well as personal use.

  • A  minimum of six weeks lead time is required for ordering films on DVD or other media through the Library. Twelve weeks is a better lead time. Professors should plan well ahead for films they will need.

  • Some films can be obtained in streaming format through suppliers or hosting services such as Swank and Kanopy. If they don't have the requested titles already, the lead time for obtaining the films and rights is typically 6-12 months.

  • The Swank database of feature films in streaming format supplies films that must be linked to individual Blackboard sites. Films must be selected prior to each semester.  Requests should include the name and date of the film, professor's name, class name, and course number. We will coordinate with ISS and the FIT lab to get the films linked to the correct Blackboard site.

  • If requested films are not available in one of the databases, library staff will contact the provider and determine if the provider is willing to work with Swank or Kanopy to supply or mount the film. If the provider is not willing to work with these services, the film will not be purchased. This is due to the high cost (typically $500-$1500), the extensive work required to negotiate the rights, and our experience that such films receive only one viewing.

  • Licensing conditions vary widely among providers. For details of rights on particular films, please consult the Media and Microforms staff or the Serials and Electronic Resources staff. Phone: 915-747-5682, 915-747-6709, Email: or

  • Federal law (the Americans With Disabilities Act [ADA]) and University policy require that all films shown in class or assigned as required viewing should have captioning or be otherwise accessible to students with disabilities. In order of preference, the film should have (1) open captioning, (2) closed captioning, (3) a transcript, or (4) subtitles. Captioning must be turned on at all showings, regardless of stated needs of students. The Library will not purchase or license films without proper captioning or, if captioning is not available, an official transcript. If a transcript is not readily available from the Library's usual sources, it is the requester's or professor's responsibility to locate and provide the transcript.

  • The Library purchases films that are requested by professors for use in their classes and that can be used multiple times by multiple professors or classes. We do not purchase films for campus organizations and we do not pay for licenses for one-time showings of movies even if they are class-related. Our task is to build the Library collection.

  • If a class is face to face or hybrid, we can purchase a DVD and keep it on Reserve in M&M so it is available to all the students. There is a viewing room in M&M or the professor can authorize overnight borrowing.

  • The Library does not stream videos from other formats such as VHS or DVD.

  • The Library purchases feature films in DVD format, chiefly to provide access to standard and classic films and the work of outstanding directors, producers, and actors. These films are generally purchased without PPR, so they can be borrowed by individuals for home use or in face-to-face classroom teaching situations only.

  • The goal of the Technical Services Dept. is to provide a note for each film, both in the bibliographic record and on a container label, that specifies the level of viewing rights available. We recognize that this information is not always available for older titles.



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