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Library provides free access to new streaming services
by Report submitted · January 11th, 2018

The Marion Public Library now offers free access to two new film streaming services.

The popular, on-demand services - Kanopy and Hoopla - are now available to any library cardholder who has an address in Marion or one of the communities that contracts with the library for services (Robins, Alburnett, rural Linn County). Both services can be streamed from any computer, mobile device, or smart TV. The Cedar Rapids Public Library also recently added Kanopy for library cardholders with a Cedar Rapids address.

Offering what the New York Times calls a "garden of cinematic delights," Kanopy showcases more than 30,000 of the world's best films, including award-winning documentaries, rare and hard-to-find titles, film festival favorites, indie and classic films, instructional films and K-12 lessons, and world cinema with collections from Kino Lorber, Music Box Films, Samuel Goldwyn, The Orchard, The Great Courses, PBS and thousands of independent filmmakers.

Kanopy also provides public performance rights, which allow a viewer to share the content with a group as long as fees are not being charged for access.

Hoopla is a digital media service that allows library cardholders to borrow comic books, movies, music, audiobooks, eBooks and TV shows to enjoy directly on a computer, tablet, smartphone, or TV via Roku, Fire TV, or Apple TV.

"We're thrilled to offer our patrons a new way to access materials and see streaming services as a strong complement to our physical collections," Marion Public Library Director Elsworth Carman said. "For many library patrons, the ability to stream or download media on a home computer or mobile device will make access and use easier and more convenient than checking out a CD or DVD."

"The library is excited to provide our patrons with instant access - no need for holds - to hundreds of thousands of vetted titles," Madeline Jarvis, MPL Adult and Information Services Coordinator, added. "We have been pleased with the patron feedback in our first weeks of service. Community groups are using these platforms in new and innovative ways. For instance, book clubs can also concurrently access books through Hoopla instead of waiting for one person to complete an eBook or a print version before another can read it. The public performance rights of Kanopy make the platform a great tool for both educators and event facilitators in our community."

Kanopy provides closed captioning, transcripts, and is compatible with screen reader (such as JAWS) technology. Hoopla users can both stream and temporarily download items for offline access.

When library cardholders establish a Kanopy account, they are given a bank of 15 credits for the month. One play credit allows unlimited access for 72 hours per title.

Hoopla services are available for varying periods: TV shows/films, three days; comic books, 21 days; music, seven days; eBooks and audiobooks, 21 days. Patrons can borrow five titles every month.

"And just as exciting, both Kanopy and Hoopla add vetted content to each streaming service monthly," Jarvis said. "The Marion Public Library continues to enhance access to what our patrons want and provide it when they want it. These two services are great resources to do just that."

Library cardholders can access these services and sign up to start streaming content immediately by visiting Both Kanopy and Hoopla services are under the eLibrary drop-down menu on the homepage. Library cardholders should click on each service and follow instructions for signing up.

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