News and notes from your librarian: fall film edition

by Scott Martin, Biological Sciences Librarian, University of Michigan Library

Fall is my favorite time of year; I greatly prefer the transitional weather of spring and autumn to the extremes of summer and winter, and the fall colors of the Midwest – especially out in the woods where I live – push this season up to the top spot. It’s still warm enough for a lunchtime walk, as long as it isn’t raining, and so I’ve been drinking in the yellows of the hickories, the oranges of the maples, and the slow-but-deep colors of the oaks over the last few weeks. They’re a nice reminder that somethings, at least, are still continuing as normal.

After fall, of course, comes winter, which means it’s time to start thinking about materials you might want to use in your Winter term classes. Due to the pandemic, the Library will not be offering physical course reserves next term, so it’s important to evaluate (and request, if necessary) electronic access to the materials you need. We have a Course Materials Support webpage that lays out what you’ll need to know, including online request forms; if you know what you need for your class, please use these forms rather than contacting me directly, as many requests can be handled efficiently without my intervention. If you’re unsure what you might need or how to get it, contact me directly for assistance.

With everything that’s going on, you might feel inclined to take a break with a movie from time to time. (I certainly do!) In addition to the streaming services that you get through personal subscriptions, you can also access streaming films via the Library’s holdings. The Askwith Media Library’s guide to film reservescontains links to the major collections that we offer. For feature films, I’d personally recommend checking out the titles in Swank and Feature Films for Education; for documentaries and classic films (including non-Anglo-American films), try Kanopy Streaming. You can also search for specific films using our Catalog Search; check here for tips on finding video in the catalog, but note that the records for streaming versions of films frequently don’t include information on actors or directors, so searching for those terms might cause you to overlook otherwise-available films. Titles streaming from Swank don’t have catalog records, since they’re acquired through one-year individual licenses, so you’ll have to discover those manually through the Swank interface. I’ve recently spent some time revisiting films from the Alienand Predator franchises, none of which are available through my personal streaming subscriptions, and I’m contemplating a dive into Jordan Peele’s filmography for Halloween viewing.

Looks like it’s about time for me to grab another walk! If you’ve got questions about accessing or using Library materials, there are a number of ways to get in touch with me:

Hope to hear from some of you soon!

trees over a house with yellow leaves, blue sky
Images: Scott Martin