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Streaming Video at City College - 2022 Roundup

by Sean O'Heir on 2022-06-17T09:00:00-04:00 | Comments

AVON and Kanopy logo combined


At the start of Spring 2021, the CUNY Office of Library Services licensed Alexander Street’s  Academic Video Online (AVON) for all CUNY Libraries to stream academic videos from that robust collection. Around the same time, the City College Library launched a limited Kanopy account to license videos for professors to use for their classes. Both platforms target a higher education audience and the selection is quite good. They each carry different content with a slight bit of overlap in the collections. The major difference between the two platforms is the fact that AVON is a large database to which new content is being added every month and Kanopy licenses each video for a fee and is, therefore, a much smaller (under 100 titles) collection. 

Poster for the Peter Bratt film DoloresAcademic Video Online offers access to nearly 80,000 titles. Discovering useful content in such a large collection requires some browsing, therefore, it is recommended to take some time to  click around and search the site for useful videos. The Content Highlights page is a great place to start for a list of new and noteworthy videos. There, we learned about the new Ken Burns documentary on Benjamin Franklin and Peter Bratt’s beautiful documentary Dolores  about activist Dolores Huerta. AVON has too many content providers to mention, but know that there are thousands of offerings from PBS, CBS, and the BBC as well as feature films from Film Platform and Sony Pictures Classics. For newsworthy items, The Economist and Bloomberg offer really good short-form videos. The Economist has been uploading videos on The War in Ukraine and a recent search for nuclear power landed us on The Economist’s great  video Nuclear Power: Why is it so unpopular?   

The City College community had over 1,600  views of AVON during the 2021-2022 academic year. Judging by this list of most-watched titles, it is clear to see that sociology and social justice issues are well-covered on the platform.

Academic Video Online Top 10 : July 2021- June 2022

Title Views
Banking on Life and Debt 74
A Question Of Color 65
Living With Schizophrenia 54
Dolores 50
Clinical Implications and Applications of Neuroplasticity 44
When the Bough Breaks: Identifying Behavioral Problems Early 36
Shakuntala 27
Who Owns the Past? 24
Shoah - First Era 23
Birders: The Central Park Effect 22


Alexander Street has a brief "how to" video called Academic Video Online: Platform Overview as well as a dedicated LibGuide to help you get more familiar with the platform.

You can view the active list of Kanopy licenses in the  A-Z Database listing for Kanopy by clicking "More" under the description. Patrons watched 817 videos on the Kanopy platform during the 2021-2022 academic year. Titles are generally licensed individually for 1 year, though the City College of New York Libraries ordered classic-film packages from The Criterian Collection and Kino Lorber for 3 years. The Libraries allocate a limited amount of funds for Kanopy licenses and we only accept Kanopy requests from professors who need Kanopy videos for instruction. Currently, we have 64 titles in this collection. If you would like to request a video for a class, you can Suggest a Purchase. Titles viewed over 20 times have most likely been assigned by a professor. 

Kanopy Top 10 : July 2021-June 2022

Title Views
The Third Murder* 63
The Illusionists* 60
The Mask You Live In* 57
I Am Not Your Negro 55
After the Storm* 53
A Day's Work, A Day's Pay* 44
La Haine 35
The Battle of Algiers 34
Stop Filming Us 27
The Tree of Iron 21

* Kanopy titles without a link are no longer licensed.


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