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Cowles Library


Streaming Video at Drake: Swank Streaming Films

Swank Motion Pictures Swank Motion Pictures partners with major studios to offer thousands of feature films and TV shows on its streaming platform. Instructors must request that the library purchase a license to a film before it can be made available for viewing.

You can view Swank films in a web browser or the Swank mobile app. Swank's User Guide contains instructions for downloading the app, viewing features, and frequently asked questions.

How to Request a Swank Film

Instructors Only. You can ask the library to purchase a Swank film in one of two ways:

Use the Swank website

  1. Search the Swank catalog. The first time you visit the site, you'll be asked to identify yourself as a Student or Instructor. Select "Instructor" and create a free account. This will allow you to search for and request films from across the entire Swank catalog. Guide to searching the Swank catalog
  2. When you've found a film, use the Request button, then fill out the form fields with your information. Although the Course field is not required, please consider filling it out, as it helps the library see where our streaming funds are being utilized. Guide to requesting Swank titles
  3. The library will review the request and contact you with any questions. Requests take 48-72 hours for Swank to process after the library submits them. As soon as an ordered film is available for viewing, you will receive an email directly from Swank with the subject line "Titles are ready." The message includes a linked film title, but do not copy the link directly from the message to use in your syllabus, Blackboard, or other course materials. Instead, click the link and copy the resulting URL from your browser's address bar. You can also get the link from the Swank catalog.

Swank provides a number of brief video tutorials on creating an instructor account, searching the catalog, requesting and linking to films, and more.

Use the Cowles Library request form

  1. Use the blue Request button on the right side of this page, which links to our Book or Media Request Form. When completing the form, select "Media item" and "Streaming video" as the purchase formats.

License Costs

Swank films are available for 1 year after activation, and the the library's cost for those 1-year licenses is about $145 per film under our current agreement. We do our best to honor all requests, but we also attempt to determine if a film is available for free from another source before purchasing a license.

The panel on the right lists all of the films we currently license from both Kanopy and Swank, ordered by soonest expiration date. Click on the Title column header to re-order the list by title.

Copyright and Public Performances

Swank films do not include public performance rights (PPR), so they can only be used in a classroom setting.

If you plan to screen a Swank film to a non-classroom group, please contact the library so we can determine whether PPR can be acquired..

Request a Swank Film

Instructors, request a Swank streaming film to use in your course.


Go to Request Form


Please keep in mind...

Access to streaming video content has become increasingly important, and the library does its best to meet the curricular needs of Drake faculty who need such content. Access to streaming videos is expensive and, in most cases, temporary, so we must be careful when determining which and how much content to license.

While the library has not set a specific limit on how many streaming videos we will license for a particular course, please consider the following:

  • A requested film must be required viewing for all students in the course.
  • If multiple streaming films are requested for a course, the library may ask the instructor to consider alternative streaming platforms (e.g., Netflix, Amazon Prime) for one or more films, recognizing that students may incur expenses by renting films on those platforms. If the library is able to find a requested film from a free, legal source, we will encourage faculty to use that version.
  • Not all films are available on institutional streaming platforms like Swank and Kanopy. If such films are absolutely necessary for your course curriculum, and in-person viewing is not an option, be prepared to require students to access the film on an individual streaming platform (e.g., Amazon Prime) at their expense.

Current Streaming Licenses

Includes Kanopy and Swank titles

Retrieving current data...