F&M College Library

Collection Policies

Purpose of the Media Collection Development and Acquisitions Policy

The purpose of the Media Collection Development and Acquisitions (MCDA) Policy is to establish general guidelines for developing, maintaining, and assessing the media collection (MC) at Franklin & Marshall College/F&M.  This policy supplements the Library’s Collection Development Policy. For additional clarity, please refer to the Collection Development Policy for issues not specifically addressed in the MCDA.

Responsibility for the MC

Although all librarians are responsible for developing, maintaining, and assessing the collection, The Library relies primarily on the expertise of all faculty to select these materials. Circulation staff are responsible for the management of the physical collection. The Content Services Librarian is responsible for the management of the streaming media collection. 

Target Audiences

The primary users of the MC are F&M students, faculty, and professional staff.  See the Library’s Borrowing Policy for circulation details. Unaffiliated users may view DVDs/Blu-rays or listen to CDs at one of the public computers or own their own devices while in the Library; however, they may not check out DVDs, CDs, or access streaming media. 

Preferred Formats

The College Library collects media in DVD, Blu-ray, CD and streaming formats. When streaming access is available from commonly used vendors at a reasonable price, that format is preferred for all visual content. When streaming is not available or is prohibitively expensive, DVD is the preferred format. The decision to purchase digital rights will include an analysis of cost; technical and contractual restrictions; nature of the program and course requirements; frequency with which it will be offered; and the number of users involved.  Some providers/distributors do not offer digital rights to their materials, or are placing restrictions on their use, which makes purchase of digital rights impractical. The Library does not purchase VHS tapes; however, the Library maintains a small collection of VHS tapes, in storage, in order to seek out replacement DVDs with the same content, or if none are available, for possible digitization and preservation.

Public Performance Rights

All streaming film content includes public performance rights at no additional cost. If streaming content is not available, and when possible and appropriate, upon direct request, the Library will purchase DVDs with perpetual public performance rights for non-theatrical screenings. The Library does not pay for one-time public performance licenses (usually these are for popular films with wide theatrical release). Campus groups organizing public screenings are responsible for all fees for one-time public performance licenses; however, the Content Services Librarian will initiate the process for obtaining public performance rights on behalf of faculty, academic departments and other campus groups.


The Library will not normally purchase a second, physical copy of a DVD, Blu-Ray or CD  that is already in the collection unless the original disc has been damaged. The Library will consider requests to purchase a physical copy of a title that is available for streaming. Those requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Interlibrary Loan

In general, the MC will not be lent to other institutions through interlibrary loan (ILL). However, the Library requests media from other participating institutions to obtain items that cannot be purchased due to budgetary limitations or unavailability. Every effort will be made by the ILL staff to fulfill these requests, but obtaining items in a timely manner cannot be guaranteed. 

Purpose of the MC

The primary purpose of the MC is to support the curriculum and instructional needs of the Franklin & Marshall College faculty, students, and professional staff in conjunction with the print and electronic holdings of the Library. The collection also exists to help support campus-wide cultural and intellectual activities, as well as for entertainment. 

Budgeting and Funding

The Content Services Librarian is administratively responsible for overseeing the media and streaming media budget lines. Regardless of the department requesting the materials, all media is purchased from either the shared media fund or the streaming media fund (fund is based on format of requested item). All faculty and professional staff have the ability to request media for purchase.

Licensed Streaming Selection Criteria

Streaming titles are accessible to all College affiliates with unlimited concurrent usage. Streaming videos are hosted by the vendor or licensed for upload to an external hosting site such as Kanopy. Streaming videos offer a range of resolutions, applicable to varying broadband availability. The streaming video player is reliable, compatible with most browsers, and allows for embedding into Canvas. Streaming video is accessible off campus: proxy configuration and title level persistent links are reliable. The streaming video platform allows for instructor playlist and clip-making capability; transcribed text searching; captioning for ADA compliance; and provides support for non-native language speakers (English or foreign language films) and individuals with different learning preferences. The platform provides access to administrative tools measuring, at a minimum, title-level usage and engagement statistics.

Streaming content will be acquired in the most economical way at the determination of the College Librarian, Content Services Librarian and the Collection Development Librarian. This may include subscription collections, purchasing or licensing individual titles, licenses triggered by patron driven acquisition, or other acquisition methods as they develop.

When appropriate, we will promote the use of high quality, free and legally available streaming video (see Internet Sites for Streaming Video for some vetted sites).  If a requested title has been made legally, freely available for streaming online by the rightsholder, we may suggest accessing the freely available material as an alternative, acknowledging that we cannot guarantee long-term access.

When an educational streaming license is not available (for example, for content from Sony Picture Classics) or is cost-prohibitive, the Library will purchase a DVD for the collection, and recommend individually paid access via Amazon, NetFlix, or other pay-per-view services for audiovisual content.


The Library primarily acquires media in English or foreign films with subtitles.  Foreign language productions without English subtitles will be acquired on a selective basis, usually in response to a specific curricular request from the faculty.   The Library does not acquire language learning materials for inclusion in the  media collection.

Requesting Media

Before placing media orders, faculty and professional staff should check the Library catalog and databases of our streaming vendors for available content. If no content is available, faculty and professional staff can request media using the online order forms available on the library website (http://library.fandm.edu/order.php). A specific “intended use date” is a required field on the video order request form, and is also highly recommended to include for audio materials in the optional “Special Notes” field. The Content Services Department will make every effort to fulfill orders and process them as quickly as possible. However, availability is contingent upon vendor response time and other factors outside the control of the Library. To allow for complete processing and cataloging, we suggest that orders be submitted at least 6 weeks before the “intended use date” whenever possible.


The requestor should inform the Library if he/she is working with any vendor or media supplier on a film festival or campus screening. It is the responsibility of the instructor, academic department and/or liaison librarian to provide the Content Services Department with all necessary contact information required to obtain these films in a timely manner.


Visual materials (including DVD and Blu-ray formats) purchased for the MC are intended for classroom use. Public Performance Rights (PPR) are generally required when videos will be used as part of entertainment or cultural programs.  Please see above for more information about public performance rights.