Newsletter 13 – Digital Resources

Paula S. Kiser, Instruction and Electronic Resources Librarian, Grafton Library

December 2014

New Streaming Video Resources

We are very excited about our most recently acquired resources, two streaming video databases, the Media Education Foundation (MEF) Collection and Films on Demand (FOD).  Anaya talked briefly about these at the faculty meeting on September 12th but we would like to highlight some of their exciting features for you.  The streaming collections allow us access to thousands of titles, more than we could purchase as DVDs, and make it easier for you to use both in your classroom and online.  The wide selection of videos in each collection updates frequently, improving the selection of resources available to us. You can find these streaming collections in a variety of places on the Grafton Library website through the All Databases link.  They are on the Video Databases page ( and Anaya and I have also started adding these resources to many of the Research Guides so students have easier access to them.  If you do not find them on your subject guide and you would like us to add them, please let us know and we can do that for you.

MEF Streaming Collection

In MEF we have access to the Gender Studies and the Media & Communication Studies Collections which include many multidisciplinary sources.  The search interface supports some advanced search options such as phrase searching as well as using the Boolean operator AND.  Once you have pulled up a results page, you can refine your search by producer, subject areas, and the year of creation.

Films on Demand

We have full access to the over 19,000 titles found within FOD.  It contains films in a wide variety of areas.  For the first year, we also have access to their Archival Films and Newsreels which is a fascinating collection of primary sources that goes as far back as 1919.  FOD has a very granular Subject Index to allow for focused browsing or you can search by title, segment, or within the transcript.  FOD has an advanced search screen which allows you to make use of limiters such as copyright date and subject area to your keyword searches.  


Both MEF and FOD have extra features designed for educational uses. You can embed the complete video or a portion of the video into your Blackboard courses.  With a free individual account, you can also create your own clips to embed.  MEF calls them clips while FOD calls them segments but for both databases, you can select portions of the videos that you would like to use, snipping them out of the whole video to share only that portion.  You can do this multiple times within one video or from a variety of videos, creating your own playlists for future use.  MEF has an instruction manual which you can find on the Playlists page within your Profile Dashboard.  FOD has a series of instructional videos that you can access once you have logged into your account.  Both resources include closed captioning for the hearing impaired and FOD also has transcripts available.

Educational media long ago transitioned from VHS tapes to digital media, and although we still have VHS players in classrooms on campus, before long that technology will be obsolete. These new streaming services may offer you an opportunity to transition your older materials to something available in digital form.

These video databases have been well received by on-campus and online instructors alike:

The titles and functionality of the site are amazing!  I have already added portions of a debate related to the role of China in Africa on my HIST 264 Intro to the African Diaspora syllabus and can’t wait to find more!   I really appreciate your assistance in making quality videos (and clips–love that function btw…:-) ) in our classes.

– Amy Tillerson-Brown, Ph.D.,  Associate Professor of History

If you have any questions, please contact myself (, Paula Kiser (, or Anaya Jones ( for further assistance.

About the Committee:

The Instructional Technology Committee is an ad-hoc faculty committee made up of representatives from the faculty and the Instructional Technology staff at Mary Baldwin. The Current Committee is:
Pam Bailey
Ken Beals
Carol Creager
Doris Dodson
Krissy Egan
George Guba
Ben Herz
Bob Klonoski
Chandra Mason
Pat Murphy
Reid Oechslin
Beverly Riddell
Laura van Assendelft
The charter of the committee is to:
  • Provide a forum for input to the Instructional Technology staff on the relative value of technological improvements from a pedagogical perspective.
  • Be a champion and example for technology enhanced teaching within their schools
  • Try out new technologies that seem promising
  • Develop and share best practices & rubrics for technology enhanced teaching
  • Recommend equipment and management for mixed use (instructional and non-instructional) space
  • This committee meets as necessary.