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New video streaming service coming to county library July 1

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

The catalog of online offerings is growing at New Castle-Henry County Public Library.

Director Winnie Logan announced this week the addition of the Kanopy video streaming service starting July 1.

More and more people are expecting and wanting electronic library materials from home or wherever they are,” Logan said.

Kanopy is an online film streaming service that focuses on documentaries, independent films, classic movies and world cinema. It also offers a Kanopy Kids section that includes popular films, TV shows and language learning videos.

Logan was familiar with the service and some local patrons had asked about it. So, NCHCPL staff set up a trial run.

“I was really impressed with the wide range of films available through Kanopy,” Logan said.

The video service will be available for all NCHCPL cardholders starting next month.

“It is very easy to use as long as you have a valid resident user library card,” Logan said. “You can either stream directly from your computer or use the Kanopy app on many devices including Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast and more.”

Teachers can use Kanopy to help with lessons in their classrooms, too.

“As long as they have access to the Internet in the classroom, the videos can be projected for the entire class to watch,” Logan said. “Teachers can also create video playlists for students to watch on their own.”

Logan said the Kanopy “checkout” model is very similar to Hoopla, another digital content service NCHCPL offers to cardholders.

“The difference with Hoopla is that Kanopy is strictly film whereas Hoopla offers ebooks, comics, music, audiobooks, movies and television,” she explained.

Like Hoopla, multiple users can access the same movie on Kanopy at the same time. There is a limit of 10 play credits per month per patron.

The content on Kanopy Kids is unlimited.

“Having Kanopy available to our patrons really expands their selection of online content in a way that makes it pretty easy for the library because, while our patrons have access to more than 30,000 films, the library only pays for what our patrons use,” Logan said.

Library services like Kanopy and Hoopla are free for cardholders since the library pays for them out of its annual operating budget.

“The great thing about streaming services like Kanopy, Hoopla, and Overdrive is that they are available 24/7,” Logan said. “The library doesn’t have to be physically open for patrons to use our services.”

While the use of online resources the New Castle-Henry County Public Library is increasing, DVDs are still a popular material here.

“It’s an interesting balancing act for the library because we know that not everyone has access to high speed internet at home so that they can take advantage of the streaming services,” Logan said, “so there is still the need to have DVDs.”

Logan noted the Hoopla service lets users download content to watch,read or listen offline. Patrons could use the library’s Wi-Fi to download items and watch later at home.

NCHCPL also lets cardholders borrow internet hotspots for a week at a time, allowing them to have high-speed internet at home.

The New Castle-Henry County Public Library is also starting the process to update it’s five-year strategic plan. Logan expects more new services could show up on the horizon as she and the library board go through the process.

“We will be hosting some community conversations this summer to get feedback from our community and I’m sure some new ideas will come out of those,” she said.

For more information on Kanopy, Hoopla and other digital content services from the New Castle-Henry County Public Library, visit www.nchcpl.org/discover/online-resources or stop by the front desk at 376 S. 15th St., New Castle.