Streaming Films Acquisitions Policy

Approved July 31, 2023


The licensing and acquisition of streaming films is complex due to the lack of industry standardization, pricing, and the variety of campus needs. Kelvin Smith Library Research & Engagement Librarians consider streaming film requests based on factors that include:

  • Relevance to current CWRU Libraries collections
  • Usage sustainability in CWRU curriculum
  • Electronic availability from streaming film vendors
  • Suitability of alternative platforms (DVD)
  • Availability of collections funding

Many titles are leased (not owned) by KSL, and the length of lease terms varies by movie.


KSL can investigate platforms in addition to those already available to CWRU, but please be advised that the acquisitions process involves multiple steps across campus offices, including:

  • Identifying and obtaining approval for new vendors
  • Negotiating licenses and terms
  • Reviewing platform accessibility, including closed captioning
  • Processing requisitions, signatures, and invoicing
  • Establishing authentication and access


Licensing films that are not available on an existing KSL platform may take up to 6 months to obtain. KSL cannot guarantee that all necessary steps - many outside library control - can be completed sooner. The library, as well as other campus offices, may cancel a purchase if a vendor or license does not meet minimal business requirements as defined by university policies.


If a streaming film request cannot be fulfilled, the library may be able to acquire a DVD for viewing in a classroom setting or to be made available through library course reserves. Films may also be available via library card with the Cleveland Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library.


Librarians will consider requests for new films based on relevance to the library’s collection, film availability, and budget. Please consult our streaming film guide for guidance.