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A Guide to Openly Accessible Media and Streaming Video Content (January 2021): Home

by Susan Ariew, LeEtta Schmidt, and Matt Torrence


This essay first appeared in the January 2021 issue of Choice (volume 58 | issue 4)


Because of COVID-19, spring 2020 saw a paradigm shift in higher education as universities suddenly closed their campuses and converted teaching and learning to an online-only format. At this writing the pandemic continues to ravage the world, so the shift is ongoing as US schools at all levels debate the safety of reopening their buildings and holding classes.  

Libraries have felt the impact as their buildings and physical collections became unavailable to users. In one survey of public and academic libraries, 74 percent reported that by mid-March of 2020 they had closed all physical locations.1 The economic impact of COVID-19 on university and library budgets has been significant because of the economic collapse and shrinking support mandated by state and federal legislation. Thus, many institutions will not be able to conduct business as usual for some time.

In the face of the rising costs of commercial resources, the need—and faculty demand—for openly accessible media and streaming video services as online instructional tools is expanding. Librarians are accommodating that need by curating quality open streaming videos and multimedia. This essay provides guidance in locating these materials and points to some of the best openly accessible streaming resources, both gateway and subject specific.

Susan Ariew is University Librarian for Education, University of South Florida; LeEtta Schmidt is Copyright and Intellectual Property Librarian, University of South Florida; Matt Torrence is Associate Librarian Geosciences Research Platform Team, University of South Florida.