The collection

The Lafayette Libraries have a multi-disciplinary collection of feature films and documentaries available via streaming services such as Academic Video Online, Kanopy, and Swank Digital Campus. We also have a sizeable collection of DVDs (and even some VHS). You can find information about all available films using the Library catalog. (For more information, see Finding DVDs, Videocassettes, and Streaming Films).

Purchasing policies

Faculty who have a film request may begin by searching Swank Digital Campus to see if it’s available to be licensed there; if so simply click the “Request” button and you’ll be notified when the film is available (usually within a day or two). If the film is not available from Swank, feel free to submit a purchase recommendation form or email Kylie Bailin, and we’ll do our best to license a streaming copy. If a streaming option isn’t available to libraries, we’ll purchase a DVD.

Students or staff who have a film request are also welcome to submit a purchase recommendation form.

Borrowing procedures

DVDs in Skillman’s collection may be checked out for seven days by Lafayette faculty, staff and students and may be renewed once for seven days.

Reserving DVDs for class use

Faculty can reserve DVDs for classroom use by contacting the Circulation Department at for assistance. We recommend reserving films well in advance so as to ensure their availability by the date needed.

Viewing facilities

DVDs may be viewed on any PC or Mac in the Library. If the computer does not have a drive, external DVD drives for the Macs & PCs and headphones for use while watching DVDs may be borrowed at the Circulation Desk. There are TV/VCR units on the ground floor of Skillman outside of Room 006. Please note: DVDs and videos must be checked out even when you are viewing them in the Library.

Viewing non-U.S. region DVDs

The Library owns a number of DVDs from region codes other than region 1 (United States, Canada, Bermuda, U.S. territories). They will not play on most on DVD players made for the U.S. market that are found in the Library, the Lafayette classrooms or your home. You can view non-US DVDs on any Lafayette PC or Mac, however, by inserting the disc in the DVD drive and choosing “VLC Media Player” from the list of media players offered on these computers. Once VLC is open, click on the familiar play icon (an arrow), then select “Disc”. The “DVD (menus)” option is the default. You do not need to enter any additional information about the DVD; simply click on “OK”. VLC will read the DVD and bring you to the DVD menu. If you would like to add VLC Media Player to your own computer, it is freely available on the internet for download.

Copyright compliance

Faculty, students and staff are responsible for complying with copyright laws for films. The DVDs and videocassettes purchased for the Library collection are intended for the classroom or private home use of the Lafayette community. Public performance licenses are generally required for the use of films as part of an entertainment or cultural program. For more information, see our guide on obtaining public performance licenses.

Conditions for classroom use

Under the fair use provisions, copyrighted DVDs or videocassettes are available for classroom use without obtaining permission from the copyright owner provided the requirements for teaching purposes are met (see 17 U.S.C. Sec. 110, Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays). For a brief and useful summary of these conditions, consult the American Library Association’s Library Fact Sheet 7: Video and Copyright.

Public Performance Rights

If you are setting up a screening on campus, you’ll need public performance rights. Some film packages already include these but others you’ll have to contact the copyright holder directly. See our guide to obtaining public performance rights here.