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Finding & Requesting Videos: Home

How to find streaming videos and DVDs for faculty to use in courses and how to submit requests for the Library to obtain them.

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Educator, author, and activist Angela Davis speaks at Simmons College on October 31, 1989.

Streaming Videos and DVDs from the Library

The Library acquires streaming videos and DVDs that are required viewing in courses. Due to the high cost of licensing these resources, the Library is normally unable to obtain videos for other purposes.


Video FAQs for Faculty


I need a video for my course. What do I do?

You have several options:

  • Check to see if a free streaming video is available. You can provide a link to the video in Moodle or on your syllabus.
  • Submit a request for the Library to provide access to the video. Fill out the Add an Item form through Course Reserves. The Library will order a DVD or streaming video (if one isn't already in the collection) and add it to the reserves list for your course. DVDs will be available to check out at the Library Service Desk and streaming videos will be available through the reserves list.
  • You may be able to show all or part of a DVD or streaming video that you personally own or have access to, but there may be copyright restrictions. See the Library's Copyright Compliance guide for more information.
  • You could assign a video that is available on pay-per-view streaming services (such as Amazon, iTunes, or Google Play) to view outside of class.


How long does a video stay on reserve for my course?

  • DVDs generally stay on reserve permanently. The Library may remove them from reserve if the course is no longer taught at Simmons or if the course hasn't been taught by the listed instructor for three or more years.
  • Streaming videos are generally licensed for short periods, typically one year. Please use the Course Reserves Add an Item form to request a streaming video every semester that you plan to use it so that the subscription will be maintained.


What if I don't need a video any more?

If you no longer need a video for your course, please fill out the Course Reserves Remove an Item form.


When does the Library acquire streaming videos?

When possible, the Library acquires streaming videos:

  • For online courses
  • For in-person courses when students are required to view the video outside of class
  • When the same video is used for multiple courses or sections, making sharing a DVD difficult


When does the Library acquire DVDs?

  • For in-person courses when students view the video during class.
  • When streaming videos are unavailable or cost prohibitive.


Why can't the library acquire the video I requested?

Unfortunately, sometimes, the Library isn't able to acquire videos. If that is the case, we will email you to let you know. Reasons can include:

  • The film is new and is not yet available on DVD or streaming. If it is being shown locally, you could assign seeing the film at a theater or screening.
  • The film is "out of print" and is no longer available. You could try submitting at interlibrary loan request for the DVD.
  • The film may have been screened at theaters and/or festivals, but was never distributed on DVD or streaming.
  • The film is not available on Library streaming services; it is only available on commercial streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+, or AppleTV+. Licensing restrictions prohibit the Library from ordering videos from these services. You may be able to show all or part of a DVD or streaming video that you personally own or have access to, but there may be copyright restrictions. See the Library's Copyright Compliance guide for more information.