The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 27th

‘Heelflix’ now available at the UL

The picture immediately caused a ripple effect across campus and initiated the affectionate term, “Heelflix.”

Trull, a desk attendant at the Media Resources Center within the UL, said she snapped the picture as a lighthearted thought and never expected it to spread like it did.

“I just thought people would like to know about it because not that many people walk by the little sign,” Trull said.

Two weeks ago, the UL started a yearlong beta test with Criterion-on-Demand, an online streaming platform. The additions are almost all popular films that range from “Die Hard” to “Bride Wars.”

More than 800 feature films were added to the UL’s expansive online media database, which had previously consisted of mainly informational films, said Suchi Mohanty, head of the UL.

Mohanty said this change has been in the works for some time.

She said the primary focus of the project was to support course reserves for classes with a required media component.

“Part of the reason we only have (beta testing) for a year of trial is so that we can keep tabs on that usage and at the end of the year we can look at that usage and make that determination of ‘is this something that we should keep subscribing to,’ to support reserves or recreational use,” Mohanty said.

Professor Louise McReynolds, who teaches a film history course, said she is optimistic about the media addition, but she did express her concern about the new media providing a distraction in the classroom.

“I would rather my students be watching the Criterion collection in class than be on Facebook,” she said with a small laugh.

Senior and Student Union Auditorium Chairman Ever Castro said he first learned of the additions through Overheard.

“I thought it was going to be like two or three good movies, and the rest are going to be like these crap sci-fi movies that no one has ever heard of featuring D-list actors,” he said. “But I checked the catalog and there’s actually good movies like ‘Alien’ or ‘American Beauty.’”

He did not express any immediate concerns that the program would compete with the Union’s Free Films program.

He said he feels that the differences between the two options for student entertainment are great enough to make the two programs complement each other.

In the end, whether the new feature films stay or go after 12 months is up to the student body and total network traffic, Mohanty said.

“We really like to hear from students directly, so we often have that whiteboard out in the library, and we’ll pose a question and we get a lot of good response that way,” she said. “We do use that feedback when we are shaping services and looking at spaces, the print and the film collection.”

university@dailytarheel.com



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