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Lemieux Library
Lemieux Library

Access Changes to Kanopy

Changing to Mediated Access

On Monday July 1, 2019, Lemieux Library will shift our access model for Kanopy steaming media from “unlimited” to “mediated.”  Since 2017 Lemieux Library has provided unlimited access to the entire Kanopy streaming media collection.  At the same time Kanopy is growing in popularity, it’s pricing model incurs drastically escalating costs that are no longer sustainable.  Changing to mediated access will allow us to continue to make leased Kanopy streaming media available in support of the curriculum; align Kanopy leasing with other streaming media vendor practices; and more aggressively manage our costs.

What is Mediated Mode?

In practice, this means that any new Kanopy lease will need to be approved by Library staff.

Seattle University students, faculty, and staff will continue to have immediate access to films currently licensed by SU (approximately 326 titles as of June 2019) until they expire. You will still be able to search for films that the Library does not already license in Kanopy. However, when you attempt to access a film that the Lemieux Library does not have a license for, you will have the option to select the “request” button next to the film, fill out the form, and the Library will work with you to fill your need. This shift to “mediated access” will better align with current procedures for other library-leased and purchased media.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what Kanopy films we have access to?

Check the Library catalog, Primo, at for currently leased titles.  If you find a title from Kanopy in the catalog it is immediately available to watch until the expiration date noted in the record.  You may also find that the film you are looking for is available in one of our other streaming collections.  

You can also search for Seattle University's leased films on Kanopy directly using and you will be able to immediately play all leased films.

What do I do if I want to assign a film for my class or need a film for my research?

You can search the entire Kanopy catalog using  If you find a film in Kanopy that you want to assign for your class or you need for a project, you can submit the request in Kanopy.  There will be a “request” button next to titles we do not lease, and there will be a form to fill out. Streaming rights are expensive ($150.00/film); please limit your request to media that is required for class or coursework.  

The Library will only be leasing films that are used for teaching, research, or projects, so please include your course name and number for which you will use the film or if you need the film for academic research purposes.  Depending factors such as cost, availability, and potential use your request may be leased from a different streaming media provider or we may recommend a DVD purchase.   

Please make your request at least three (3) working days before you need the film.

Can I still preview a film?

You will not be able to preview films on Kanopy.  However, many of the films found there are available for loan on DVD through Summit or interlibrary loan, or through individual streaming services that you may have access to. Seattle Public Library's Kanopy subscription may also be useful to preview films prior to requesting they be licensed by the library.   


What does “lease” mean?

The Library does not purchase streaming media; instead we lease films. Leases can be for 1 or 3 years. When the lease expires we lose access until we purchase another lease.  The expiration date for the film will be noted in the Primo catalog record.


What happens when I request a film?

The request is forwarded to our acquisitions department. Library staff will confirm that we do not own the title in another streaming media collection or in our DVD collection and will follow-up with the requestor if needed.   Library staff will then make the purchase in Kanopy or other streaming resources as funds permit.

The Library needs three (3) working days to process and order the film. If you make a request on the weekend or after hours, the lease process will begin the next working day. Once the film is available, you will be emailed with a link and the film will be added to the Library catalog.


What if we have already leased a film, but the lease expires before I need to use it?

You can let the Library know ahead of time, and we can purchase another lease in advance and have it start on a day of your choosing. Please email and please include your course information, lease length, and when you need the new lease to start. If possible, please include a permalink to the Library’s catalog record for the film.

You can also wait until the first lease expires, and then put in a request.


Where can I find media for my classes?

The best place to start is Primo, the Library’s catalog. All films that the Library has leased in Kanopy will remain in Primo until that license expires (one year after the purchase). You can also find the Library’s other streaming media and DVDs in Primo.

If you are looking for recreational or general viewing, you can access Kanopy through The Seattle Public Library or through the King County Library System.  You will need a library card to access Seattle Public Library resources, and anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in King County can get a free SPL card. 


I have a question that isn’t answered here!

If you have any additional questions, please email Jan Hartley, Director, Resource Acquisition and Management at

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Jan Hartley
Phone: 206-296-6206