Wareham Joins SouthCoast Libraries Adding Free Movie Streaming

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If you have a library card in select SouthCoast communities, you also have access to a unique digital streaming service that contains over 30,000 movies, documentaries, rarities and children’s programs through the magic of this card.

Wareham’s Free Library recently announced that it now allows customers access to Kanopy, which contains blockbuster movies, classic movies, and hard-to-find titles.

To access the service, patrons only need a library card from a participating library, then they can stream content from any computer, TV, mobile device, or through the Kanopy app for iOS. Android, Apple TV, Chromecast or Roku.

Wareham Free Library director Patrick Marshall said he added the Kanopy service to Bourne Public Library’s offerings when he was director, and in December last year he had begun work to bring him to Wareham.

“It’s good service,” he said. “There are a lot of art house films, a lot of documentaries that the most popular services don’t have. There’s also a cute Kanopy for kids, with lots of your favorite kids shows. There are the Great Courts in there. There is a good mix of lots of different services.

Other SouthCoast libraries offering Kanopy include Elizabeth Taber Library in Marion, Mattapoisett Free Public Library, Millicent Library in Fairhaven, Dartmouth Public Libraries, and Fall River Public Library. Plus may also start offering it down the road.

“Kanopy came out and offered an introductory price to libraries that didn’t have it before, so I know a lot of libraries were looking at it and were interested,” Marshall said.

Marshall said one of the best things about offering the Kanopy service to library patrons is that the library is only charged for usage rather than having to purchase the actual video. He said many e-book and audiobook companies “charge exorbitant fees to buy any book,” and while they may charge the general public $18 or $20 for an e-book, they charge at libraries $80 or more for the same book. Companies also limit the number of people who can use the eBook at a time.

“They still treat it like a library book,” Marshall said. “If you and I want the same eBook at the same time, whoever accesses it first gets it, and the other has to wait. But with Kanopy, if five of us want to watch the same video, we can do it. And the library only pays for use, not for the items themselves.

Currently, Wareham customers are limited to five checkouts per month through Kanopy, a number that could drop if it becomes extremely popular and starts costing the library more than it can afford to pay for it. service, but Marshall said he didn’t anticipate that event. Additionally, the service offers unlimited rentals of kids’ shows and movies with Kanopy Kids.

As libraries evolve to accommodate 21st century technologies, services like Kanopy will become more common; however, Marshall said the “No. 1 crate for bookcases is always the hardback book.

“Libraries still do everything we remember when we were kids, but we also always update what’s current,” he said. “We’ll continue to look for more resources online, more options in the digital world, but the hardcover world isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

You can access Kanopy here in order to log in with your library card.

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