Streaming videos: Kanopy

Have you tried streaming videos from the library?

I have. Let me share my experience using the library’s Kanopy Streaming video database and why it works for me.

Eye strain is a daily challenge for me, working online and then using ebooks or articles as well. The opportunity to sit a little further from the screen, or more importantly, give my carpal tunnels a break from mousing and scrolling, improves my retention on new information.

I also advocate for switching media to support students with dyslexia or students who are auditory learners.  I will introduce other video services with discipline specific, in-depth video offerings later this year.

I hope you are already using video segments in your syllabi.  If you are open to adding some, please ask your librarian; we’re happy to find the topical video sections you are looking for. –– Jennifer, Reference and Research Services Librarian for Economics & Social Sciences

Kanopy offers movies (all genres including tv, short, and early), documentaries, and instructional films or lessons. The disciplines range from performance and visual arts to business, education, and health. Journalism, marketing, sciences, and social sciences are also covered.

movie genre poster, a sunset seen from an airplane window

You can also have a bit of fun, learning about cooking, advanced hair or beauty practices, and travel.

The videos have short segments, 8-30 minutes, depending on the lecturer and topic.  Currently, this batch of videos does not have closed captioning, but it can be requested and even rushed.  Many videos are already captioned, and you can search by the feature.

movie genre poster with side profile of SpockYou can create a playlist of favorites, share the URL socially, or create a clip or playlist of clips, which would save you re-watching 30 minutes for the 5 minutes of highlights you might share in a presentation.

You can pause in the middle of a session if you need to, but unlike (another video service subscribed by NYU), it does not offer a bookmarking feature to remind you where you were.

Each video has a citation tool to generate the references entry in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles only.  You can also report errors or rate the video up to 5 stars.  Comments are enabled, linked to Facebook or Google+ accounts or Kanopy’s internal account service.

Technical videos are not like those available through, where you can learn how to use your new iPhone or create spreadsheets. Kanopy’s offerings cover sand casting, welding, metal die casting, refrigeration and cooling, or home renovation.

Food videos cover professional chefs, restaurant reviews, pop-sci nutrition, and techniques to learn yourself.  Travel videos include series and historical features from the BBC or PBS and independents.