New Streaming Service Provides Access to Over 25,000 Films

The staff of the Andrew Mellon Library have recently introduced the Kanopy Streaming Service to the Choate community. This online service contains over 30,000 free films, including many of the works of Ken Burns and PBS documentaries.

The process of introducing the service started six months ago when Ms. Courtney Jaser, the Instruction and Digital Services Librarian, met someone working at St. Paul’s School who mentioned the success of Kanopy in their library. The goal of implementing Kanopy Streaming Service at Choate is to enrich academic environments and enhance the intellectual curiosity of students.
Kanopy Streaming Service was created in 2008 in Australia. The founders began by selling DVDs to libraries within the Australian University system. Soon, Kanopy created a more far-reaching streaming service and moved their headquarters to San Francisco, California. The company’s service is now used by more than 3,000 higher-education institutions around the world, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Upon making the choice to bring Kanopy to Choate, Ms. Jaser thought that it would be the perfect replacement for the DVDs that the library currently lends for classes, which are “not as easy to use any more, and not an ideal option.” Typical classrooms on Choate’s campus do not have DVD players, and the iPads used by faculty, along with many types of computers, do not have disc drives. With the introduction of Kanopy, teachers can show relevant films in class with ease.

Kanopy also gives students and teachers the ability to clip videos and create playlists for classes and projects. This is an option many other services do not include, and it has the potential to transform the way certain units are taught by providing more visual aid for a lesson.

A unique benefit of Kanopy is the incredibly wide variety of content available within the streaming service. With such a broad database to explore, Kanopy can be used as a classroom tool across Choate’s academic departments.

Another important aspect of Kanopy is its copyright protection. Ms. Jaser said, “A lot of teachers and students use YouTube, but some of that content is not protected by copyright, making Kanopy a good alternative.”

Kanopy also extends beyond the classroom. This streaming service isn’t just limited to academic use­ — there’s much more to be found. The library staff is planning to have the service made available off-campus very soon so that students can watch movies on Kanopy in their own time.


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