Digital Media Reserves


In order to respond to the public health and safety needs of the Tulane community while continuing to support the teaching mission of Tulane University during the ongoing pandemic, Tulane Libraries will pilot a fully online media reserves program beginning in Fall 2020.


Effective Fall 2020, Tulane Libraries will fulfill all reasonable requests for digital media reserves. Whenever possible, digital streaming licenses will be purchased for films that are intrinsic to the pedagogical methods and needs of a class. When no legal streaming edition is available via academic or commercial platforms, the Library will then digitize a physical DVD in the library’s collection and make a streaming version temporarily available to students enrolled in the class via Canvas.

Submit a Request & Guidelines


In preparing a Media Reserve Request form, faculty are urged to consider the planned used of a film relative to Fair Use and the TEACH Act.

Requested films must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for digitization:

  • Must be required viewing for a course;
  • Must support the core pedagogical goals and methods of the course;
  • Will only be shown to students enrolled in the course;
  • Must not be legally available via academic (e.g., Kanopy, Swank, Alexander Street Press, etc.) as well as commercial (e.g., Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) streaming movie platforms;
  • Must be owned by the Library.

When Media Services personnel receive a Media Reserve Request form, they will:

  • Search existing library streaming media resources. If a required film is already licensed, the direct link will be shared with the requesting faculty and the license expiration will be checked to ensure continuous availability for the semester.
  • If a film is not already licensed, Media Services personnel will search for an appropriate academic vendor. If available, a license will be purchased and a direct link shared with the requesting faculty member when it becomes available.
  • If a film is not available via academic resources, Media Services personnel will search for commercial options. If a commercial option is found, a direct link will be shared with the requesting faculty member.
  • After all options for academic and legal commercial streaming options are exhausted, the film will be routed for digitization.

In order to embed the required film(s) in the Canvas course, faculty will receive a request from a Media Services team member to be added to the course and assigned the role of co-educator.

Films will be made available in Canvas courses as soon as possible and removed within 30 day following the last day of exams.

Due to demand and the time required to complete this workflow, it may be up to three weeks from the time of request to the time a film becomes available in Canvas.

Please note, after ensuring no legal streaming edition is available, Media Services will make every effort to digitize the Library’s DVD edition with subtitles and closed captions. However, there may be encryption encoding that prevents us from being able to digitize a film or capture subtitles and closed captioning. Faculty will be notified in cases where a DVD cannot be successfully digitized. The head of Media Services will be available to work with faculty to identify alternative films.

Instructions for Submitting a Request

  1. Read the Guidelines for a full description of expectations.
  2. Download and complete the Media Reserves Excel Worksheet (faculty who are using the same list as previous years need only update the course information and resubmit via the form below).
  3. Complete the submission form below (be sure to upload your completed Worksheet) and click the Submit button.

If users need to add another film to the same course after submitting an initial request, please re-upload the same Media Reserves Worksheet with the updated information.

To find the call number of a film, please use Library Search. Typical call numbers for film begin with DVD or BRV. If unable to locate a required film in Library Search, please provide at minimum the film title and director so we can verify its availability and, if necessary, purchase the film.

Please note, this form requires the use of Microsoft Excel which is available to all students, staff, and faculty through the Tulane University Software Distribution Center.

For additional guidance, please refer the online How to Submit a Media Course Reserve List or contact

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Submission Form

Course Information

Course Reserve Sheet

Please submit your Media Reserves Worksheet below. You can download the Excel worksheet here.

One file only.
40 MB limit.
Allowed types: xls, xlsx.
Given limited availability during heavy times of use, we strongly advise your students to view media reserves in a timely manner throughout the semester. Further delays at media reserve circulation may be avoided if your students come prepared with a call number. We encourage you to include call number information on your viewing lists. If you would like further assistance in identifying DVD call numbers please feel free to contact lisa Hooper via email (
Additional Resources

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. Streaming Resources at Tulane Library Guide.

Adams, Tina M. and Claudia C. Holland. 2018. “Streaming Media in an Uncertain Legal Environment: A Model Policy and Best Practices for Academic Libraries.” Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship 1(2), p. 2-32, doi

Association of Research Libraries. 2012. Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries 

Association of College and Research Libraries. 2018. Guidelines for Media Resources in Academic Libraries. 

Society for Cinema and Media Studies. 2008. “The Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Statement of Best Practices for Fair Use in Teaching for Film and Media Educators.” Cinema Journal 47(2), p. 155-167.