Infobase Learning

Films on Demand. 2012. REF
This large, growing collection of streaming videos for academic, public, and school library audiences provides works in 28 categories (e.g., anthropology, business and economics, health and medicine, and music and dance) from producers such as Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, the BBC, and PBS. Many of the titles are closed-captioned. Approximately 600 new films are added annually; 65 titles were added in the last month alone. Search and browse functionality is fairly straightforward, although some users might not understand the function of the "By Segments" and "By Titles" menus next to the search box. Films load and play quickly using Flash on a standard broadband connection, but for users whose viewing devices have less bandwidth, selections can be played at lower bit rates, with the database adjusting accordingly. Usage on iPhones and iPads is also an option. Libraries serving distance learners will be happy with this product, as instructors can link to whole films or individual segments in course-management systems and embed video in web pages. Access is easy: authentication is managed with an institutional user name and password or through EZProxy. Students should be cautious with the incomplete MLA citations provided with each video; APA-styled citations are not available. Librarians will appreciate the COUNTER-compliant statistics. Institutions can lease individual titles for three years, purchase them outright, or subscribe to larger packages or smaller curriculum collections for an annual fee. Whatever the approach, an unlimited number of authenticated users can access a single film simultaneously. Price varies according to institution type and population size, starting at $2890 annually at a community college with fewer than 500 students.
VERDICT Films on Demand is an outstanding value and highly recommended. Libraries should drop the database's search-widget code into their websites and subject guides.

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