In case you needed one more reason to head to your local library, did you know that simply having a library card can get you access to over 30,000 films…for free? Thanks to the streaming service Kanopy, you can take advantage of digital content from universities and public libraries in their network. With over 4,000 worldwide libraries participating in Kanopy, there's a good chance you'll be able to hop on board wherever you reside.
The streaming service works just like you'd expect it to, whether you use Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, FireTV, or your iPad to watch your selected content. Once you've signed up, you'll be asked to choose your local library, enter your card number and voilà—tens of thousands of films at your fingertips. Major American institutions like the New York Public Library are among the members, but the libraries in the network are global so you can join no matter where you live.
So what can you expect from Kanopy? There's a surprisingly wide variety of material, from classics like Sunset Boulevard to 50 films from the Criterion Collection. Films are nicely divided into subjects that easily let you find your niche. For instance, Documentary is made up of nine different subcategories like Ethnicity & Identity, Historical Perspectives, and LGBTQ Stories. Of course, as one would expect from a library, there's also a wealth of educational material in subjects like Social Sciences, Global Languages, and The Arts. You'll even find videos on business skills and leadership training.
An entire section of Kanopy is devoted to children, with the company working to ensure that all videos are vetted and rated appropriately. Once you add in the instructional videos on topics like hair, beauty, tourism, food technology, and education, Kanopy really reveals itself as YouTube's brainy cousin. So, if you've let your library card lapse or haven't thought about joining, Kanopy gives you one more reason to head down to your local library immediately.