(30 Jan 2023) Andy Horbal, director of access services and streaming video coordinator at Cornell Library, shares his thoughts on navigating streaming acquisitions.
“…While streaming video has some clear advantages over physical formats, as a form of collection its transient selection creates challenges for faculty, librarians and vendors. For example, university faculty don’t teach the same courses every semester, so teaching material cycles in and out of style. While library patrons are familiar with the concept of “renting” a movie, they associate it with a very short period of time of no more than a few days. The alternative to this model in their mind is “ownership,” which lasts forever. Faculty often don’t seem to have a framework for “licensing,” which is somewhere in between, and expect that if their students had access to a film all semester five years ago, they can assign it again today. Unfortunately, streaming video licenses expire and films come and go from platforms, which means that titles which are available today may not be tomorrow, and once they are gone, they may be gone forever. When the library owns a film on DVD, a single instructor can restore it to relevance even after years of neglect by using it themselves and telling their colleagues, who might follow suit; when it’s only temporarily available as a streaming video, this ceases to be possible….”
Read more here.