Music & Media Library gives free access to DVDs, e-books and more

By Maureen McGavin | Emory Report | July 17, 2018

Story image

A sample of the DVDs, CDs and OverDrive e-books and audiobooks available to Emory and Oxford staff, faculty and students, courtesy of Emory’s Music & Media Library.

As an Emory University staff member for 22 years, C.J. Jones estimates he’s checked out hundreds of DVDs and CDs in the last 10 years from the Music & Media Library. Having access to free movies and TV shows has allowed him to skip the expensive cable bill and save money.

“I can get caught up on ‘Game of Thrones,’ and next on my list is ‘The Sopranos,’” says Jones, a senior security officer in the Woodruff Library. “I’ve watched superhero movies, old movies from the ‘50s and ‘60s. I used to check out CDs — blues, jazz, R&B. It’s a great resource and the staff is always very helpful.”

The Heilbrun Music & Media Library, located on the fourth floor of the Woodruff Library, has an impressive collection of DVDs (more than 28,000), CDs and audiobooks. This media selection, combined with the Emory and Oxford libraries’ OverDrive system of downloadable e-books and audiobooks, provides perfect free entertainment options for Emory staff, faculty and students to enjoy over summer vacation or a long weekend.

“I wish more people knew about these resources and used them,” says music librarian Peter Shirts, who manages the music collection and helps manage Emory’s OverDrive collection.

Fewer than 500 people are using OverDrive, which was expanded in the last six months, Shirts says. He encourages Emory and Oxford staff, faculty and students to take advantage of these free materials. (If you use OverDrive through a public library system, you’ll find some different selections in Emory’s OverDrive collection, and if there is a long on-hold list at your public library, the list at Emory will likely be shorter.)

Emory’s physical collection is composed of DVDs (including recent films, popular movies, documentaries and foreign films) and CDs (including audiobooks, popular and classical music, and box sets). It’s easy to use the Emory Libraries’ discoverE search box and type in the title or artist you’re looking for. If you can’t find it, the Music & Media staff is ready to help.

The library has films and TV shows that aren’t carried by Netflix or other streaming services, and even among the ones that are, the DVD often includes extra features such as interviews or deleted scenes. For those at Emory and Oxford who don’t have Netflix or want to cut the cable cord, these Music & Media resources are the ideal solution. 

Robyn Pollette, manager of faculty development and educational support at Candler School of Theology, says her family recently noticed that “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” was on Netflix. Since they hadn’t seen the first one — and it wasn’t on Netflix — they checked it out from the Music & Media Library and spent an enjoyable weekend watching both movies.

“I’ve also checked out several e-books on OverDrive,” Pollette says. “I read them on my iPad when I travel or go on vacation, so I don’t have to take an actual book. It’s very convenient, and usually the hot new fiction books are available. I’ve tried to keep that last part my little secret.”

If you don’t have a way to play CDs or DVDs, you can also check out external drives and adaptors for your laptop from the Music & Media Library.

“It really is an amazing resource we have that more staff should take advantage of,” says James Steffen, subject librarian for film studies and theater studies at the Woodruff Library. “Some things just don’t exist on streaming services.”

Emory staff members with a current Emory ID can check out up to three DVDs for three days and up to three CDs for 14 days; on OverDrive, they can check out two items for 14 days. Alumni with a current Emory alumni ID and visitors with a photo ID can check out up to three DVDs and CDs for three hours for in-library use (the OverDrive license does not cover alumni). 

Visit the Music & Media Library borrowing privileges page for more details.