Workshops and Consultations

E-Reserves (OCRA)

Online Course Reserves Access (OCRA) is the service used to place books and other physical media on reserve AND to create electronic reserves: links to ebooks and other online content, digitization of articles, book chapters, full-length movies, short video clips, and audio files. You simply supply the citation information and/or the material to digitize, and Library and Academic Technology staff work together to do the rest.  (Please remember to request your Course website using the Brown Gateway). If you use Canvas, you can easily activate your E-Reserves yourself.

2. What is the Online Movies service?

The on-demand online video service allows students to watch full feature movies  on their computers rather than exclusively at the video checkout and viewing locations on campus (Media Services, Orwig, single departments ...).

Students watch a movie by clicking the published link off the OCRA playlist, which is accessible through Canvas or directly at the Library OCRA homepage via the Student Login button (students need the class password!).

The player students use is called Instream. 

All Online Movies are protected in order to respect copyright. Only registered students in your course can view the movie and only during the semester they're enrolled in your class. Movies are encrypted for transmission and at no time is there a copy resident on the computer being used for viewing.

Movies are accessible from campus by clicking on a link on the OCRA playlist. For off-campus access you need to use VPN (Virtual Personal Network). For information about VPN:

3. How do I request Online Movies with OCRA?

Please submit your request at least one week before students need to view the material.
Please use the online OCRA request form at: (after you login click on "Add Entire Movies")
The movies you requested will be digitized and linked from your MyCourses site by the CIS Student Technology Assistants. If the movies are owned by the Brown libraries, you will not need to take any action after you make your initial request. OCRA will keep you abreast of any progress in your request.

Please note that it takes at least 10 days from the time we receive your movie for it to be digitized and made available online.

Any questions? Please contact your Instructional Technologist, or email

4. How do I activate my E-Reserves link on Canvas?

It takes 2 steps to activate your E-Reserves:

1) Activate your course reserves through the Library website at It may take up to 24 hours for your request to be received.

2) Once your request has been received, you can enable a direct link to your E-Reserves in Canvas.

  • Log into Canvas at
  • Select your course from the drop-down menu.
  • Select Settings from the left-hand sidebar.
  • Select the Navigation tab on the top of the Settings page.
  • Click and drag the gray E-Reserves link from the bottom section of tabs not visible on the student navigation sidebar to the top section of tabs visible on the student navigation sidebar.
  • Click Save.

Students will be able to access course readings, audio files, and full feature films by clicking this button without reentering their login information.

In order to view streaming films, students must be on campus or use the VPN over a ethernet cable.

5. How do I add users so they can access my E-reserves and Online movies?

You can add users if you would like a TA or Designer to view online reserves.

6. How do I ensure movie playback depending on the browser I use?

In order to access OCRA Online Movies, your computer must meet the following requirements. This applies whether you are accessing your OCRA course reserves through Canvas or through the Library Reserves site.

  • Network Connection: Online Movies are available only on the campus network, either over Brown-Secure, Ethernet, or from a computing lab. To watch movies from off campus, you will need to connect using VPN.
  • Java: Make sure your Java is up to date. You can run the test by visiting:
  • On a Mac: Use Firefox or Safari - your movies will not play in Chrome.
  • On a PC: Use Windows 7 or earlier with Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox. Windows 8 does not work with this service, so if you have Windows 8 you will need to view the movie in a computing lab.
If you encounter a blank screen after clicking on a movie link follow tips:

7. Where can I get help?

  • For questions on your Canvas link to OCRA E-Reserves and to the Online Movies playlist within, contact your Instructional Technologist or email