Music and Media

Music & Media

DVDs & CDs are located at the Service Desk (Library North, 1st floor)

About the Music & Media Collections

The library has a DVD collection of nearly 4,000 titles which cover a wide range of subjects that support the University curriculum. In addition, the library has a collection of nearly 3,000 music CDs including Classical, Jazz, World, and Popular Music. Be sure to also check out Music Online for access to a vast collection of music available 24/7.  The DVD and CD collections are used by faculty in the classroom and professors can also request to have them placed on Course Reserve. Students can also check-out DVDs/CDs for a limited loan period. They are available at the Circulation Desk (Library North, 1st floor).

We now also have a number of streaming media resources (video & audio) included in our collection of online databases which you can access from anywhere with your MyCalStateLA login.

To see what DVDs, CDs, or Music Scores are available in the library start by searching the library catalog.

Information about the loan periods for media is available on the Borrowing Policies page.

To use a DVD/CD in the library, check-out a set of headphones from the library Service Desk (Library North, 1st Floor) and use any library computer.

Please do not place media materials in the book drop

Policies & Use of Collections

I. Purpose & Access

The library's non-print media collections support the instructional and research needs of the Cal State LA community. Since media is often used as a part of classroom instruction, the collections foundation and primary focus is based on the current curriculum. Materials in all subjects are collected, in support of all university departments and programs of study. Some disciplines (music and communication studies, for example) rely more heavily on non-print formats and therefore the subject balance of the collection may not be evenly divided.

The closed-stack media collection is located on the 3rd floor of Library North, and materials are checked out to patrons at the Music & Media Center circulation desk. Because media requires less time to review and is often used spontaneously by faculty in classroom instruction, circulation policies are more restrictive than with print material. Faculty and instructional staff may check out media materials. Students may view/listen to media on equipment in the library's Music & Media Center and may check out materials for use in class projects and research (with authorization from their professor.)

II. Scope of Collection

Language: Materials in English are the primary focus however no languages will be excluded. Foreign language films will be purchased in English subtitled editions only. Films without English subtitles will be purchased selectively at the request of teaching faculty.

Chronology: There are no chronological limits for feature films. Documentary and educational titles should be periodically reviewed for accuracy and timeliness of information, as well as for dated content (inappropriate use of biased/sexist/racist language, etc.) Some dated documentary films may be worth keeping if they are considered "classics" or of historic value.

Geography: Materials from all countries may be considered, but generally the library will purchase media from U.S. distributors in the U.S. NTSC standard for videocassettes and the Region 1 (North American) standard or Region 0 (all region) format for DVDs. Videos in other formats (PAL, SECAM, etc.) will be purchased selectively, usually to fulfill a faculty request for a title not available for purchase in the U.S.

III. Formats Collected

Included: Videocassettes in the " VHS format (U.S. NTSC standard only); DVDs (Region 1 "North America" or Region 0 "All-Regions" format only); audio compact discs; audio cassettes (only when a title is not available in digital format); LP records (existing titles maintained, but no longer actively collected); 16mm films (existing titles maintained, but no longer actively collected); multimedia CD/DVD-ROM discs (Windows PC or Windows/Mac hybrid format only).

Excluded: All other music and media formats.

IV. Selection of Materials

Specific media titles and subject areas recommended by faculty to support their instructional needs are given first priority. In addition, liaison librarians (subject specialists) may choose to select media with their departmental allocations. Subject specialists are encouraged to consider criteria such as: curricular relevance; accuracy/authoritativeness; timeliness of information; technical quality; interdisciplinary nature; balance within the collection; "diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video, or other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer or filmmaker or on the basis of controversial content." (ALA, Freedom to View Statement). Generally, popular materials (latest feature film & music releases, video games, etc.) are not collected, unless they are specifically requested by faculty or they support the University curriculum.

Additional selection considerations: Video materials which are Closed-Captioned for the hearing impaired are preferred, but some desirable titles may not be available with CC and should still be considered. Whenever possible, Public Performance Rights (PPR) will be purchased for educational video materials. Home use titles for which the cost of PPR may be prohibitive (Hollywood feature films for example) will be purchased for use in individual library viewing carrels and face-to-face teaching situations, and labeled with a copyright warning statement to guide patrons in their appropriate use.

Review sources for media include (but are not limited to): Laser Scans: The DVD Newsletter (; Educational Media Reviews Online (; The Video Librarian/Video Librarian Online ( If a faculty member or subject specialist requests to preview an item prior to purchase, the Media Services Librarian and/or Technical Services staff should contact the vendor to see if a preview copy can be obtained.

V. Evaluation and Weeding

The library's media resources should be regarded as an "active" collection, not an archival one. The materials support the instructional and research needs of the University and should, therefore, be systematically reviewed by selectors and/or the Media Services Librarian for timeliness, relevancy to the curriculum, appropriate format, and physical condition. Materials which fall within the guidelines of this policy but have deteriorated or been damaged beyond repair, should be replaced. Materials which become obsolete due to changes in media format, should be replaced and/or reformatted (based on relative cost, what is permissible within copyright, etc.)

Search the Media Collections

How to Search the Library's Media Collection

  1. Go to Advanced Search
  2. Enter a title, composer, director, actor, performer, subject, etc.
  3. Use the arrow next to "Material Type" and select DVDs or Audio CDs
  4. Click SEARCH (bottom right of page)


Media Online

Library Streaming Video & Audio Collections

(Note:  To use these resources from off-campus you'll need to enter your MyCalStateLA user name & password)

Ambrose Video includes the complete BBC Shakespeare Plays, American History, History of Christianity, Great American and British Authors, Human Physical Geography, Human Body, Science, History of Civil Rights in America series and more.

Films On Demand is a Web-based digital video delivery service that allows you to view streaming videos online. Chosen from thousands of high-quality educational titles in multiple subject areas. The Master Academic Collection contains approximately 11,200 full-length videos / 166,000 video clips, and the Nursing Video Collection contains approximately 1,400 full-length videos / 14,000 video clips.

Kanopy is an online video streaming service.  CSULA Kanopy subscription currently includes 141 videos from The Media Education Foundation (MEF) Collection.  MEF videos encourage critical thinking about the social, political, and cultural impact of American mass media with a special focus on representations of gender and race, and the effect these representations have on identity and culture. MEF films are especially well-suited for use in Communication, Education, Race and Gender, Sociology and Psychology courses.

Music Online is a comprehensive streaming audio collection. It currently provides access to over 900,000 tracks, including over 45,000 unique recordings including the Classical, Jazz, World, American, and Popular music genres.

Web Search Engines & Directories for Media

Media Channel (search for video on the web)
MP3 Audio Files Search Engine (from Lycos)

Audio on the web

American Memory Project (Library of Congress) -- includes maps, film clips, sound recordings, photos & prints.
Great Speeches (from the History Channel) -- audio of famous American speeches
Historic Audio Archives -- includes audio clips from WWII, Richard Nixon, Civil Rights leaders, etc. -- audio files
National Public Radio
Radio Online -- Search engine allows you to search for radio stations on the web by call letters, city, state, etc. Guide -- listing of audio & video sources on the web

Film/Video on the web

American Memory Project (Library of Congress) -- includes maps, film clips, sound recordings, photos & prints.
Atom Films -- online collection of short films, animations, etc.
BMW Films -- short films featuring award-winning directors
CNN Video -- Current event video clips
iFilm: The Internet Movie Guide -- includes short films, movie clips, etc.
Internet Archive: Movie Collection -- Over 900 films depicting 20th Century life, culture, industry, etc. in North America.
National Archives -- Historic films, documentaries available to view online
Video Detective -- over 20,000 streaming video previews
YouTube -- a vast collection of video clips with a search engine

Software Downloads & Plug-ins for viewing web media

Apple Quicktime Player (for Windows or Mac)
Marcomedia Shockwave & Flash Players (for Internet Explorer/Netscape/AOL)
RealOne Media Player (plays audio & video internet files)
Windows Media Player (plays AVI's, MPEG, QuickTime & other formats)

Information for Faculty

All media materials (DVDs, Music CDs, & Media on Course Reserve) are housed and available for check-out at the main Service Desk (Library North, 1st floor)

Please return media items to the Circulation Desk - Do not place them in the book drop.

About Placing Media on Course Reserve:

Faculty may request to have media materials (library-owned or your personal copies) placed on reserve at the Circulation Desk for one semester.  Items on reserve are restricted to library use only.*

*If an item is on course reserve, a faculty member may borrow the item for use in a class, but you are encouraged to return it immediately after use.

To place media materials on reserve, please visit the Course Reserves page.

Media purchase requests:

If you would like to request the purchase of media materials for the library's collection, please send an email to your department's Library Coordinator with the title, format, and vendor (if known). You may first want to read the University Library's Media Collection Development Policy section above.

Media Borrowing Policies

Charles Champlin's Top 100 Films List